Definition of parlous in English:


Syllabification: par·lous
Pronunciation: /ˈpärləs


archaic or humorous
Full of danger or uncertainty; precarious: the parlous state of the economy
More example sentences
  • We come in day after day, lament the parlous state of the telecoms industry and resolve on a regular basis to get new means of employment.
  • The railways emerged in a parlous state, in dire need of a major overhaul.
  • That is not a high level of income, but when one considers a number of other issues one finds that it is becoming even more difficult and parlous for people to live on it.
bad, dire, dreadful, awful, terrible, grave, serious, desperate, precarious; sorry, poor, lamentable, hopeless; unsafe, perilous, dangerous, risky
informal dicey, hairy, woeful


archaic Back to top  
Greatly or excessively: she is parlous handsome
More example sentences
  • Is the state of American political fiction really so parlous perilous?


late Middle English: contraction of perilous.





More example sentences
  • In my submission, it is significant, because this document demonstrates that in practical terms this venture was in the same state of parlousness as was the venture considered in Jekos.

Definition of parlous in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day dinkum
Pronunciation: ˈdɪŋkəm
(of an article or person) genuine, honest, true