Definition of parley in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpɑːli/

noun (plural parleys)

A conference between opposing sides in a dispute, especially a discussion of terms for an armistice: a parley is in progress and the invaders may withdraw
More example sentences
  • Discussions, secret parleys and meetings, at various places, marked the last few days.
  • According to one story, they took unfair advantage by attacking when a parley was in progress.
  • In the halls of NBA front offices, in the power lunches, agent meetings and cell-phone parleys, it was a summer of impressive work by the league's best teams.
negotiation, talk(s), meeting, conference, summit, discussion, dialogue, conclave, consultation, deliberation, colloquy
informal confab, powwow
formal confabulation
dated palaver

verb (parleys, parleying, parleyed)

[no object]
Hold a conference with the opposing side to discuss terms: they disagreed over whether to parley with the enemy
More example sentences
  • For two and a half months, the military command had parleyed and negotiated with the racialist thug and his group, which included both active and retired senior military and intelligence officers.
  • He refused to comment on rumors that the two companies are already parleying.
  • It continues a tradition of apt venues for the awards which for years were held in the Merchant Adventurers Hall in York - that wondrous 14th century Foss-side building where business people have gathered and parleyed for centuries.
discuss terms, talk, hold talks, speak to each other, confer, consult with each other, negotiate, deliberate
informal powwow


Late Middle English (denoting speech or debate): perhaps from Old French parlee 'spoken', feminine past participle of the verb parler.

  • parable from Middle English:

    The word parable is from an ecclesiastical Latin sense ‘discourse, allegory’ of Latin parabola ‘comparison’. The source is Greek parabolē ‘placing side by side, application’, from para- ‘beside’ and bolē ‘a throw’. The Latin parabola came to be used for the symmetrical curve in the late 16th century, and the same Latin root lies behind parley and parole [both LME]. See also palaver, parliament, ballistic

Words that rhyme with parley

Bali, barley, Cali, Carly, Charlie, Dali, Diwali, finale, gnarly, Gurkhali, Kali, Kigali, Mali, Marley, marly, Pali, snarly, Somali, Svengali, tamale

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: par¦ley

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