[par-uh t]


any of numerous hook-billed, often brilliantly colored birds of the order Psittaciformes, as the cockatoo, lory, macaw, or parakeet, having the ability to mimic speech and often kept as pets.
a person who, without thought or understanding, merely repeats the words or imitates the actions of another.

verb (used with object)

to repeat or imitate without thought or understanding.
to teach to repeat or imitate in such a fashion.

Origin of parrot

1515–25; apparently < Middle French P(i)errot, diminutive of Pierre (see parakeet), though a comparable sense of the French word is not known until the 18th century
Related formspar·rot·like, adjectivepar·rot·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for parroting

recite, copycat, imitate, quote, reiterate, echo, mimic, mime, chant, copy, ape

Examples from the Web for parroting

Contemporary Examples of parroting

Historical Examples of parroting

  • "My translator is working badly," the voice of the elder was parroting.

    The Ties That Bind

    Walter Miller

  • She was conscious of parroting the current phrases of the newspapers, but it was no time to pick and choose her words.

  • The King made a few screen appearances, parroting things Makann wanted him to say.

    Space Viking

    Henry Beam Piper

  • One of my draft is killed and five wounded and here everyone is parroting about a Merry Christmas.

  • Later he put it into Altrurian, and I memorized it, and made myself immensely popular by parroting it.

    Through the Eye of the Needle

    William Dean Howells

British Dictionary definitions for parroting



any bird of the tropical and subtropical order Psittaciformes, having a short hooked bill, compact body, bright plumage, and an ability to mimic soundsRelated adjective: psittacine
a person who repeats or imitates the words or actions of another unintelligently
sick as a parrot usually facetious extremely disappointed

verb -rots, -roting or -roted

(tr) to repeat or imitate mechanically without understanding
Derived Formsparrotry, noun

Word Origin for parrot

C16: probably from French paroquet; see parakeet
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 parroting



"repeat without understanding," 1590s, from parrot (n.). Related: Parroted; parroting.



1520s, of uncertain origin, perhaps from dialectal Middle French perrot, from a variant of Pierre "Peter;" or perhaps a dialectal form of perroquet (see parakeet). Replaced earlier popinjay. The German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt in South America in 1800 encountered a very old parrot that was the sole speaker of a dead Indian language, the original tribe having gone extinct.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper