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parlay

[pahr-ley, -lee]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to bet or gamble (an original amount and its winnings) on a subsequent race, contest, etc.
  2. Informal. to use (one's money, talent, or other assets) to achieve a desired objective, as spectacular wealth or success: He parlayed a modest inheritance into a fortune.
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noun
  1. a bet of an original sum and the subsequent winnings.
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Origin of parlay

1820–30, Americanism; alteration of earlier paroli < French < Neapolitan Italian, plural of parolo, perhaps derivative of paro equal < Latin pār; see pair
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for parlay

move, play, jockey, risk, manage, speculate, plan, venture, wager, gamble, engineer

Examples from the Web for parlay

Contemporary Examples of parlay

Historical Examples of parlay

  • Anyway, here's the story: Parlay's a full-blooded Frenchman.

    A Son Of The Sun

    Jack London

  • Ashore, where Parlay's house had been, was no vestige of any house.

    A Son Of The Sun

    Jack London

  • "Oh, hush your croaking, Parlay," chided one of the captains.

    A Son Of The Sun

    Jack London

  • Parlay looked at the barometer, giggled, and leered around at his guests.

    A Son Of The Sun

    Jack London

  • There was no sign of life where Parlay's big house perched on the sand.

    A Son Of The Sun

    Jack London


British Dictionary definitions for parlay

parlay

verb (tr)
  1. to stake (winnings from one bet) on a subsequent wagerBrit equivalent: double up
  2. to exploit (one's talent) to achieve worldly success
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noun
  1. a bet in which winnings from one wager are staked on another, or a series of such bets
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Word Origin for parlay

C19: variant of paroli, via French from Neapolitan Italian parolo, from paro a pair, from Latin pār equal, par
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 parlay

n.

1701, parloi, term in the card game faro, from French paroli, from Italian parole (Neapolitan paroli) "words, promises," plural of parolo (see parole). Meaning "exploit to advantage" is from 1942.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper