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palter

[pawl-ter] /ˈpɔl tər/
verb (used without object)
1.
to talk or act insincerely or deceitfully; lie or use trickery.
2.
to bargain with; haggle.
3.
to act carelessly; trifle.
Origin of palter
1530-1540
1530-40 in sense “to speak indistinctly,” perhaps alteration of falter in same sense, with p- from palsy1
Related forms
palterer, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for palter
Historical Examples
  • It is in vain to palter with our conscience: there are not two honours—two honesties.

  • Never for an instant did either of these palter with the other.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • The honour of the school was in question, and he had no right to palter with that.

    The Willoughby Captains Talbot Baines Reed
  • Aziel could no longer palter with himself, it was the truth.

    Elissa H. Rider Haggard
  • It must not, like the witches in Macbeth, "palter in a double sense."

  • She would face the truth and not palter with it, now that the crisis had really come.

    Name and Fame Adeline Sergeant
  • When a man is going on my journey he does not palter with truth.

    Simon the Jester William J. Locke
  • He felt that he could not palter with a woman in the grasp of an agony like this.

    Hand and Ring

    Anna Katharine Green
  • His brain reeled, but he could not doubt it or palter over it for a moment.

  • Why must he "palter in a double sense," and blow hot and cold in one breath?

    Apologia pro Vita Sua John Henry Newman
British Dictionary definitions for palter

palter

/ˈpɔːltə/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to act or talk insincerely
2.
to haggle
Derived Forms
palterer, noun
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for palter
v.

1530s, "speak indistinctly," of unknown origin. It has the form of a frequentative, but no verb palt is known. Connection with paltry is uncertain. Hence "play fast and loose" (c.1600). Related: Paltered; paltering; palterer.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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