[pur-suh-flahzh, pair-]


light, bantering talk or writing.
a frivolous or flippant style of treating a subject.

Origin of persiflage

1750–60; < French, derivative of persifler to banter, equivalent to per- per- + siffler to whistle, hiss < Late Latin sifilāre, for Latin sībilāre; see sibilant, -age

Synonyms for persiflage

1. banter, badinage, jesting. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for persiflage

frivolity, banter, mockery

Examples from the Web for persiflage

Historical Examples of persiflage

  • I asked in a tone of persiflage, as I took a step towards them.

    The Suitors of Yvonne

    Raphael Sabatini

  • "Come on," said Berwick, paying no attention to Jim's persiflage.

  • She looked at him through his persiflage wistfully, searchingly.

    The Coast of Chance

    Esther Chamberlain

  • Say, they made a great team, them two, when it came to exchangin' persiflage.

    Torchy and Vee

    Sewell Ford

  • She was tall, beautiful, lively, gracious and learned in persiflage.

British Dictionary definitions for persiflage



light frivolous conversation, style, or treatment; friendly teasing

Word Origin for persiflage

C18: via French, from persifler to tease, from per- (intensive) + siffler to whistle, from Latin sībilāre to whistle
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 persiflage

1757, from French persiflage, from persifler "to banter" (18c.), from Latin per- "through" (see per) + French siffler "to whistle, hiss," from collateral form of Latin sibilare "to hiss," possibly of imitative origin. Said to have been introduced in English by Chesterfield.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper