[ pawl-ter ]
/ ˈpɔl tər /

verb (used without object)

to talk or act insincerely or deceitfully; lie or use trickery.
to bargain with; haggle.
to act carelessly; trifle.

Origin of palter

1530–40 in sense “to speak indistinctly,” perhaps alteration of falter in same sense, with p- from palsy1
Related formspal·ter·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for palter

British Dictionary definitions for palter


/ (ˈpɔːltə) /

verb (intr)

to act or talk insincerely
to haggle
Derived Formspalterer, noun

Word Origin for palter

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

Word Origin and History for palter



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