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From Middle English *parlaunce, from Anglo-Norman parlance, parlaunce, from parler (to talk) + -ance.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpɑː.ləns/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈpɑɹ.ləns/
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parlance (countable and uncountable, plural parlances)

  1. A certain way of speaking, of using words; especially that associated with a particular job or interest.
    • 1836, James Fenimore Cooper, "Eclipse":
      To my childish fancy, it had seemed an imaginary flag-staff, or, in rustic parlance, the "liberty pole" of some former generation []
    • 1845, Charles Miner, History of Wyoming, Letter IX:
      We approach the contest, still known in the common parlance of the country, as "the first Pennimite War."
    • 1909, William Elliot Griffis, The Story of New Netherland, Chapter 22:
      The tourist's impression of the country to-day is that of a transported Holland, in which the official language is Dutch and the parlance of the people is "taki-taki."
    • 1955, Vladimir Nabokov, chapter 12, in Lolita, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: G[eorge] P[almer] Putnam’s Sons, published August 1958, →OCLC, part 2, page 200:
      At first she "ran a temperature" in American parlance, and I could not resist the exquisite caloricity of unexpected delights—Venus febriculosa—though it was a very languid Lolita that moaned and coughed and shivered in my embrace.
  2. Of a word, the quality of being lexicalized; especially as jargon or slang.
    • 2020, Stanley Oluka, Performance Management System and Employee Performance in Amuria Health Centre IV, Eastern Uganda:
      Its use at a variety of levels, including the individual and organisational level, make it a varied term that has parlance in organisational development, performance management and talent management.
  3. (archaic, rare) Speech, discussion or debate.




Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


parler +‎ -ance, or from Latin parabolantia.


parlance oblique singularf (oblique plural parlances, nominative singular parlance, nominative plural parlances)

  1. discussion; debate


  • English: parlance