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[par-uh t] /ˈpær ət/
any of numerous hook-billed, often brilliantly colored birds of the order Psittaciformes, as the cockatoo, lory, macaw, or parakeet, having the ability to mimic speech and often kept as pets.
a person who, without thought or understanding, merely repeats the words or imitates the actions of another.
verb (used with object)
to repeat or imitate without thought or understanding.
to teach to repeat or imitate in such a fashion.
Origin of parrot
1515-25; apparently < Middle French P(i)errot, diminutive of Pierre (see parakeet), though a comparable sense of the French word is not known until the 18th century
Related forms
parrotlike, adjective
parroty, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for parroting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "My translator is working badly," the voice of the elder was parroting.

    The Ties That Bind Walter Miller
  • She was conscious of parroting the current phrases of the newspapers, but it was no time to pick and choose her words.

    Between The Dark And The Daylight William Dean Howells
  • The King made a few screen appearances, parroting things Makann wanted him to say.

    Space Viking Henry Beam Piper
  • One of my draft is killed and five wounded and here everyone is parroting about a Merry Christmas.

    Letters from Mesopotamia Robert Palmer
  • Later he put it into Altrurian, and I memorized it, and made myself immensely popular by parroting it.

    Through the Eye of the Needle William Dean Howells
British Dictionary definitions for parroting


any bird of the tropical and subtropical order Psittaciformes, having a short hooked bill, compact body, bright plumage, and an ability to mimic sounds related adjective psittacine
a person who repeats or imitates the words or actions of another unintelligently
generally (facetious) sick as a parrot, extremely disappointed
verb -rots, -roting, -roted
(transitive) to repeat or imitate mechanically without understanding
Derived Forms
parrotry, noun
Word Origin
C16: probably from French paroquet; see parakeet
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 parroting



"repeat without understanding," 1590s, from parrot (n.). Related: Parroted; parroting.



1520s, of uncertain origin, perhaps from dialectal Middle French perrot, from a variant of Pierre "Peter;" or perhaps a dialectal form of perroquet (see parakeet). Replaced earlier popinjay. The German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt in South America in 1800 encountered a very old parrot that was the sole speaker of a dead Indian language, the original tribe having gone extinct.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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