Definition of parlor in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpärlər/
(British parlour)


1 dated A sitting room in a private house.
Example sentences
  • The entryway was warm and welcoming, with a hat tree off to the left of the door and a sitting parlor to the right.
  • She withdrew to the empty parlour, unlocking the door with one of her dress pins.
  • Outside, Nell balled her hand in a fist and bravely knocked on the grand oak door leading into the parlour.
1.1A room in a public building for receiving guests: the mayor’s parlor
More example sentences
  • The Mayor and Mayoress will host a reception in the parlour for guests before the Remembrance Sunday service followed by lunch at the Artillery Barracks.
  • As well as housing all the council offices, except education, it also contained a council chamber, committee rooms and Mayor's parlour.
  • A visit to the Mayor's parlour in the town hall provided just one of many cross-Atlantic experiences for exchange teacher, Miss Barbara Miller.
1.2A room in a monastery or convent that is set aside for conversation.
Example sentences
  • Until the school was completed classes were held in the convent parlours and hall and in church galleries.
  • One day she was taken into the parlour of the convent and told by a nun that her mother was dead.
2 [usually with modifier] A shop or business providing specified goods or services: an ice cream parlor a funeral parlor
More example sentences
  • You will find antique stores, ski shops, a clock and lamp shop, ice cream parlor, a book store, Vermont made furniture store, and a quilt shop, to name a few.
  • They hope to buy a business such as a sandwich shop or ice cream parlour to take advantage of rules which will allow them to live in the United States if they invest £100,000 and employ two Americans.
  • He has a barbershop, beauty shop and nail salon and plans to add a deli, coffee shop and ice cream parlor.
3 (also milking parlor) A room or building equipped for milking cows.
Example sentences
  • Many insecticides used for livestock insect control are restricted for use in milking parlors and on lactating dairy cattle.
  • Small farms with tie-stall milking parlors were once ubiquitous in the upper Midwest.
  • Eicher is also finding that acquainting young, pregnant cows with milking parlors and milking before their first births reduces stress when they're milked after their calves are weaned.


[attributive] dated, derogatory
Denoting a person who professes but does not actively give support to a specified (especially radical) political view: parlor libertarians
More example sentences
  • He was warmer to Gaullists, especially military ones, rather than the parlour variety ‘who poured oil on the fire while remaining in their slippers’.
  • The system that gives prominence to the Venturas, Trumps and Buchanans, and some of the parlour spooks contending for the Republican nomination, may seem weird.
  • But what of the more serious accusation - that he is, if not a parlour anti-Semite, certainly a writer who has given them succour?


Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French parlur 'place for speaking', from Latin parlare 'speak'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: par·lor

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