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parlour

[pahr-ler]
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noun, adjective Chiefly British.
  1. parlor.
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Usage note

See -or1.

parlor

[pahr-ler]
noun
  1. Older Use. a room for the reception and entertainment of visitors to one's home; living room.
  2. a room, apartment, or building serving as a place of business for certain businesses or professions: funeral parlor; beauty parlor.
  3. a somewhat private room in a hotel, club, or the like for relaxation, conversation, etc.; lounge.
  4. Also called locutorium. a room in a monastery or the like where the inhabitants may converse with visitors or with each other.
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adjective
  1. advocating something, as a political view or doctrine, at a safe remove from actual involvement in or commitment to action: parlor leftism; parlor pink.
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Also especially British, par·lour.

Origin of parlor

1175–1225; Middle English parlur < Anglo-French; Old French parleor, equivalent to parl(er) to speak (see parle) + -eor -or2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

parlorsalonLRparlour

Examples from the Web for parlour

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I found my mother and sister together in my sister's parlour.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • In about ten minutes after my return to the parlour Lady Susan entered the room.

    Lady Susan

    Jane Austen

  • As soon as I was tolerably composed I returned to the parlour.

    Lady Susan

    Jane Austen

  • He stood still in the middle of the parlour, and looked into the kitchen in silence.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • It was the dusting of the furniture in the parlour behind the shop.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad


British Dictionary definitions for parlour

parlour

US parlor

noun
  1. old-fashioned a living room, esp one kept tidy for the reception of visitors
  2. a reception room in a priest's house, convent, etc
  3. a small room for guests away from the public rooms in an inn, club, etc
  4. mainly US, Canadian and NZ a room or shop equipped as a place of businessa billiard parlor
  5. Caribbean a small shop, esp one selling cakes and nonalcoholic drinks
  6. Also called: milking parlour a building equipped for the milking of cows
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Word Origin

C13: from Anglo-Norman parlur, from Old French parleur room in convent for receiving guests, from parler to speak; see 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 parlour

chiefly British English spelling of parlor (q.v.).

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parlor

n.

c.1200, parlur, "window through which confessions were made," also "apartment in a monastery for conversations with outside persons;" from Old French parleor "courtroom, judgment hall, auditorium" (12c., Modern French parloir), from parler "to speak" (see parley (n.)).

Sense of "sitting room for private conversation" is late 14c.; that of "show room for a business" (e.g. ice cream parlor) first recorded 1884. As an adjective, "advocating radical views from a position of comfort," 1910.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper