Definition of palaver in English:


Line breaks: pa¦la|ver
Pronunciation: /pəˈlɑːvə


[mass noun]
1Prolonged and tedious fuss or discussion: mucking around with finances and all that 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 [count noun] (In Africa) 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 and 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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