- perilous; dangerous.
- Obsolete. clever; shrewd.
- to a large extent; greatly.
Origin of parlous
1350–1400; Middle English, variant of perlous, syncopated variant of perilous
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for parlous
They also counted on exploiting Honduras's parlous state of affairs among frightened voters.Honduras Presidential Election Passes Over Chavez Loyalists
November 27, 2013
Cities in parlous financial condition often need creditors to keep going.Saving Detroit: When a Big City Stops Being Big
May 13, 2013
It could happen here—and in 2010, a parlous American economy did give the GOP a robust midterm triumph.Obama Realigns, the GOP Declines: The New Political Paradigm
February 1, 2013
You might find yourself in a parlous condition, Master Helstrop.Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
Yet reflect upon the parlous condition in which she found herself.The Shame of Motley
Ruth wrung her hands in her dismay, confronted by a parlous choice.Mistress Wilding
Five or six years ago its affairs were in so parlous a state that 19s.The World in Chains
Fate had given Mayo and his associate an ideal crew for that parlous job.Blow The Man Down
- dangerous or difficult
C14 perlous, variant of perilous
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
Word Origin and History for parlous
late 14c., late Middle English contraction of perilous.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper