Definition of blarney in English:


Line breaks: blar|ney
Pronunciation: /ˈblɑːni


[mass noun]
1Talk which aims to charm, flatter, or persuade (often considered typical of Irish people): it took all my Irish blarney to keep us out of court
More example sentences
  • Right now you're either dazzling the general populace with brilliance or charming them with blarney.
  • There is an absence of celebrity backers on the pro side - but there is the fast-talking Irishman driving the Scottish bid team with charm, blarney and bundles of enthusiasm.
  • I last saw Peggy in late July and she was as enthusiastic as ever - full of that Irish blarney that saw her through her life.
informal sweet talk, soft soap, smarm, spiel, ego massage, buttering up, cosying up, cuddling up
British informal flannel
Australian/New Zealand informal guyver, smoodging
archaic glozing, lip salve
1.1Amusing and harmless nonsense: this story is perhaps just a bit of blarney
More example sentences
  • There was quite a bit of the old blarney left in this extremely complicated New Englandy-Irish lady yet.
  • This sweet, straightforward story has enough Irish charm to overcome the occasional blarney.
  • There's probably a wee bit of Irish blarney in that tale - but it's what helps make him a great tour guide.

verb (blarneys, blarneying, blarneyed)

[with object] Back to top  
Influence or persuade (someone) using charm and pleasant flattery: he went overboard in blarneying him into thinking that Joe considered him a nice guy
More example sentences
  • He had blarneyed the Jaguar driver into taking him along.
  • Disguised first as a horse dealer and later as a holy man, he successfully blarneyed his way through regions, which were not a part of British-held India at the time.
  • So he blarneyed his way into flight school and a couple of years later flew night missions over Vietnam in an F-4.


late 18th century: named after Blarney, a castle near Cork in Ireland, where there is a stone said to give the gift of persuasive speech to anyone who kisses it.

Definition of blarney in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈrɛtrə(ʊ)flɛks
turned backwards