noun, plural par·leys.

a discussion or conference.
an informal conference between enemies under a truce, especially to discuss terms, conditions of surrender, etc.

verb (used without object), par·leyed, par·ley·ing.

to hold an informal conference with an enemy under a truce, as between active hostilities.
to speak, talk, or confer.

Origin of parley

1400–50; late Middle English parlai < Middle French parlee, noun use of feminine of parle, past participle of parler to parle
Related formspar·ley·er, noun

Synonyms for parley




Peter, pen name of Samuel Griswald Goodrich. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for parley

Contemporary Examples of parley

Historical Examples of parley

British Dictionary definitions for parley



a discussion, esp between enemies under a truce to decide terms of surrender, etc


(intr) to discuss, esp with an enemy under a truce
(tr) to speak (a foreign language)
Derived Formsparleyer, noun

Word Origin for parley

C16: from French, from parler to talk, from Medieval Latin parabolāre, from Late Latin parabola speech, parable
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 parley

"conference, speech," especially with an enemy, mid-15c., from Middle French parlée, from fem. past participle of Old French parler "to speak" (11c.), from Vulgar Latin *paraulare, from Late Latin parabolare "to speak (in parables)," from parabola "speech, discourse," from Latin parabola "comparison" (see parable).


late 14c., "to speak, talk, confer," probably a separate borrowing of Old French parler "to speak" (see parley (n.)). Related: Parleyed; parleying. Meaning "to discuss terms" is 1560s, from the noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper