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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 of palaver
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for palaver
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Therefore the house was cleared of all except the two Queens, who may never sequester themselves, and Mr. Hamor began his palaver.

    The Story of Pocahantas Charles Dudley Warner
  • The minute they started their drillin' an' palaver, they ought to 'a' been stopped.

    Changing Winds St. John G. Ervine
  • On these occasions they were received in the "palaver house," by the chiefs arranged in true African style, regardless of taste.

  • With this arrangement all agreed; for surely here was a palaver not to be feared.

    Bones Edgar Wallace
  • Poor Lisetta was very much frightened, but told her story to this angry stranger with true Southern palaver.

    Mae Madden Mary Murdoch Mason
  • So we come out to palaver, an' then they won't let us go back in the ship.

    A Transmutation of Muddles Horace Brown Fyfe
  • The British Association, or some such body, had descended upon Plymouth for a palaver.

  • palaver, also a travellers' word from the African coast, is Port.

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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