[ pur-suh-flahzh, pair- ]
/ ˈpɜr səˌflɑʒ, ˈpɛər- /


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


Nearby words

  1. persians, the,
  2. persicaria,
  3. persichetti,
  4. persichetti, vincent,
  5. persiennes,
  6. persimmon,
  7. persis,
  8. persist,
  9. persistence,
  10. persistence of memory, the

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for persiflage

British Dictionary definitions for persiflage


/ (ˈpɜːsɪˌflɑːʒ) /


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