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90s Slang You Should Know


[pahr-ler] /ˈpɑr lər/
noun, adjective, Chiefly British.
Usage note
See -or1.


[pahr-ler] /ˈpɑr lər/
Older Use. a room for the reception and entertainment of visitors to one's home; living room.
a room, apartment, or building serving as a place of business for certain businesses or professions:
funeral parlor; beauty parlor.
a somewhat private room in a hotel, club, or the like for relaxation, conversation, etc.; lounge.
Also called locutorium. a room in a monastery or the like where the inhabitants may converse with visitors or with each other.
advocating something, as a political view or doctrine, at a safe remove from actual involvement in or commitment to action:
parlor leftism; parlor pink.
Also, especially British, parlour.
Origin of parlor
1175-1225; Middle English parlur < Anglo-French; Old French parleor, equivalent to parl(er) to speak (see parle) + -eor -or2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for parlour
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They have the air of ornaments on a cottager's parlour mantelpiece.'

  • Would not your ladyship step into my parlour, and have a little drop of something?

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • But to-day, when he walked into our parlour, he was in anything but a good temper.

    The Forest Farm Peter Rosegger
  • He tore the note into tiny pieces, stepped into the parlour and threw them into the grate.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • She cautiously entered the parlour on the left hand of the front door: all was safe.

    The Mysteries of London, v. 1/4 George W. M. Reynolds
  • In the parlour or in the courtyard the other mothers pointed her out to each other.

    Rene Mauperin Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt
  • Having accomplished this little matter, and relieved her feelings, she returned to the parlour.

    The Young Trawler R.M. Ballantyne
  • I have seen the volumes there on the table in the parlour when I have been with him.

    Cousin Henry Anthony Trollope
  • As she opened the door of the parlour, Mrs. Costello half rose from the sofa, where she was lying.

    A Canadian Heroine, Volume 1 Mrs. Harry Coghill
British Dictionary definitions for parlour


(old-fashioned) a living room, esp one kept tidy for the reception of visitors
a reception room in a priest's house, convent, etc
a small room for guests away from the public rooms in an inn, club, etc
(mainly US & Canadian, NZ) a room or shop equipped as a place of business: a billiard parlor
(Caribbean) a small shop, esp one selling cakes and nonalcoholic drinks
Also called milking parlour. a building equipped for the milking of cows
Word Origin
C13: from Anglo-Norman parlur, from Old French parleur room in convent for receiving guests, from parler to speak; see parley
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 parlour

chiefly British English spelling of parlor (q.v.).



c.1200, parlur, "window through which confessions were made," also "apartment in a monastery for conversations with outside persons;" from Old French parleor "courtroom, judgment hall, auditorium" (12c., Modern French parloir), from parler "to speak" (see parley (n.)).

Sense of "sitting room for private conversation" is late 14c.; that of "show room for a business" (e.g. ice cream parlor) first recorded 1884. As an adjective, "advocating radical views from a position of comfort," 1910.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for parlour


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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