Definition of palaver in English:


Syllabification: pa·lav·er
Pronunciation: /pəˈlavər
, pəˈlävər


1Prolonged and idle discussion: an hour of aimless palaver
More example sentences
  • He said: ‘We thought hayracks were more in keeping than hanging baskets - we can't believe all the fuss and palaver.
  • That's what I'm coming up to Edinburgh to talk about this month: about the book and, presumably, its attendant fuss and palaver.
  • The author of this nauseating palaver is obviously so in love with what he thinks is his own eloquent rhetoric that he fails to notice his laughable double entendre.
1.1 dated A parley or improvised conference between two sides.
More example sentences
  • After a long night in our desolate camp, Jon and I have a palaver with Karchung.
  • Why not some panchayat, a round table under the overseer moon, or a palaver by the banyan tree?
  • It was quiet all around the pot-bellied stove when Jesse, the elder, finished his palaver.


[no object] Back to top  
Talk unnecessarily at length: it’s too hot for palavering
More example sentences
  • The amiable but essentially conservative bipartisanship that had the notables of each incoming administration palavering happily in her dining room hadn't yet numbed the Post's spinal nerve.
  • After exiting the rear of the cave, we sat palavering between precipices of glacial ice and a slope of rock and snow.
  • To fill up the days, he palavered with neighbors and sold liquor and medical supplies.


mid 18th century (in the sense 'a talk between tribespeople and traders'): from Portuguese palavra 'word', from Latin parabola 'comparison' (see parable).

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Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈretrəˌfleks
turned backward