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palaver

[puh-lav-er, ‐lah-ver] /pəˈlæv ər, ‐ˈlɑ vər/
noun
1.
a conference or discussion.
2.
a long parley, especially one between primitive natives and European traders, explorers, colonial officials, etc.
3.
profuse and idle talk; chatter.
4.
persuasive talk; flattery; cajolery.
verb (used without object), palavered, palavering.
5.
to talk profusely and idly.
6.
to parley or confer.
verb (used with object), palavered, palavering.
7.
to cajole or persuade.
Origin
1720-1730
1720-30; < Portuguese palavra word, speech, talk < Late Latin parabola parable
Related forms
palaverer, palaverist, noun
palaverment, noun
palaverous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for palaver
  • In no mood to palaver, the commandos dragged him outside and chucked him in the back of a waiting truck.
  • He and his father were fined and summoned to the palaver house (court) in the capital city.
  • Fortunately, one voice managed to cut through the penguin palaver.
  • Simple is not the word I'd use to describe the whole palaver .
  • One would have thought westerners would be sophisticated enough to know when their own governments are feeding them palaver.
  • Even before the expenses palaver, fewer people were voting, and more of those who did were voting for smaller parties.
  • Both conceal great toughness beneath ready smiles and a gift for palaver.
  • We palaver about how the country has been transformed.
  • There was a palaver about the branding.
  • There has to be a grand palaver before anything serious is attempted.
British Dictionary definitions for palaver

palaver

/pəˈlɑːvə/
noun
1.
tedious or time-consuming business, esp when of a formal nature all the palaver of filling in forms
2.
loud and confused talk and activity; hubbub
3.
(often used humorously) a conference
4.
(rare) talk intended to flatter or persuade
5.
(W African)
  1. an argument
  2. trouble arising from an argument
verb
6.
(intransitive) (often used humorously) to have a conference
7.
(intransitive) to talk loudly and confusedly
8.
(transitive) to flatter or cajole
Word Origin
C18: from Portuguese palavra talk, from Latin parabolaparable
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
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Word Origin and History for palaver
n.

1733 (implied in palavering), "talk, conference, discussion," sailors' slang, from Portuguese palavra "word, speech, talk," traders' term for "negotiating with the natives" in West Africa, metathesis of Late Latin parabola "speech, discourse," from Latin parabola "comparison" (see parable). Meaning "idle talk" first recorded 1748. The verb is 1733, from the noun. Related: Palavering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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