[pahr-luh ns]


a way or manner of speaking; vernacular; idiom: legal parlance.
speech, especially a formal discussion or debate.
talk; parley.

Origin of parlance

From Anglo-French, dating back to 1570–80; see origin at parle, -ance Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for parlance

Contemporary Examples of parlance

Historical Examples of parlance

  • It was a case, in the parlance of thieves and police, of “rail-roading.”

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • There is my cradle, after the flesh; my native land—in the parlance of the men of these days!


    Anatole France

  • They took me by surprise—in Western parlance, got the drop on me.

  • A term singularly, but very often, misapplied in parlance for orbit.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • They all went to church Sabbath morning, in the old Puritan parlance.

    A Little Girl in Old Boston

    Amanda Millie Douglas

British Dictionary definitions for parlance



a particular manner of speaking, esp when specialized; idiompolitical parlance
archaic any discussion, such as a debate

Word Origin for parlance

C16: from Old French, from parler to talk, via Medieval Latin from Late Latin parabola speech, parable; compare 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

Word Origin and History for parlance

1570s, "speaking, speech," especially in debate; 1787 as "way of speaking," from Anglo-French (c.1300) and Old French parlance, from Old French parlaunce, from parler "to speak" (see parley).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper