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[pahr-ler] /ˈpɑr lər/
Older Use. a room for the reception and entertainment of visitors to one's home; living room.
a room, apartment, or building serving as a place of business for certain businesses or professions:
funeral parlor; beauty parlor.
a somewhat private room in a hotel, club, or the like for relaxation, conversation, etc.; lounge.
Also called locutorium. a room in a monastery or the like where the inhabitants may converse with visitors or with each other.
advocating something, as a political view or doctrine, at a safe remove from actual involvement in or commitment to action:
parlor leftism; parlor pink.
Also, especially British, parlour.
Origin of parlor
1175-1225; Middle English parlur < Anglo-French; Old French parleor, equivalent to parl(er) to speak (see parle) + -eor -or2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for parlor
  • His invention allowed him to stow his bed in his closet, transforming his one-room apartment from a bedroom into a parlor.
  • The parlor-maid keeps the drawing-room and library in order.
  • We are sitting in the parlor on a brown sectional sofa strewn with brown pillows beneath bare brown walls.
  • The house is illustrative of the evolution of a southern one-room brick structure into a hall-and-parlor plan house.
  • One pizza parlor now serves triangular pies on triangular platters.
  • The rubber hand illusion is more than a vaguely creepy parlor trick.
  • Used as a sort of parlor game to amuse or as a metaphor for the existence of different points of view, okay.
  • Sometimes so many people showed up, the parlor floor had to be reinforced.
  • Smartphones can pull off all sorts of parlor tricks these days, but point-and-shoot cameras they ain't.
  • It therefore often becomes a parlor trick of intellectualism.
British Dictionary definitions for parlor


(old-fashioned) a living room, esp one kept tidy for the reception of visitors
a reception room in a priest's house, convent, etc
a small room for guests away from the public rooms in an inn, club, etc
(mainly US & Canadian, NZ) a room or shop equipped as a place of business: a billiard parlor
(Caribbean) a small shop, esp one selling cakes and nonalcoholic drinks
Also called milking parlour. a building equipped for the milking of cows
Word Origin
C13: from Anglo-Norman parlur, from Old French parleur room in convent for receiving guests, from parler to speak; see parley
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 parlor

c.1200, parlur, "window through which confessions were made," also "apartment in a monastery for conversations with outside persons;" from Old French parleor "courtroom, judgment hall, auditorium" (12c., Modern French parloir), from parler "to speak" (see parley (n.)).

Sense of "sitting room for private conversation" is late 14c.; that of "show room for a business" (e.g. ice cream parlor) first recorded 1884. As an adjective, "advocating radical views from a position of comfort," 1910.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for parlor


Related Terms

massage parlor, rap club, rub parlor

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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