[ puh-lahr-ee, paw- ]
/ pəˈlɑr i, pɔ- /
a distinctive English argot in use since at least the 18th century among groups of theatrical and circus performers and in certain gay and lesbian communities, derived largely from Italian, directly or through Lingua Franca.
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Also par·la·ry [puh-lahr-ee, par-], /pəˈlɑr i, par-/, par·lya·ree [puhl-yahr-ee, pahrl-] /pəlˈyɑr i, pɑrl-/ .
Origin of Polari
First recorded in 1845–50; ultimately from Italian parlare “to speak, talk”; see parle
Words nearby Polari
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for Polari
/ (pəˈlɑːrɪ) /
an English slang that is derived from the Lingua Franca of Mediterranean ports; brought to England by sailors from the 16th century onwards. A few words survive, esp in male homosexual slang
Word Origin for Polari
C19: from Italian parlare to speak
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