Definition of parley in English:



  • A conference between opposing sides in a dispute, especially a discussion of terms for an armistice.

    ‘a parley is in progress and the invaders may withdraw’
    • ‘Both sides are secretive about their positions and details of the parleys so far but, at least, the joint statement issued by the two sides after their two-day meeting last December is most welcome.’
    • ‘Discussions, secret parleys and meetings, at various places, marked the last few days.’
    • ‘Thus, their parleys tend to center on expressions of and responses to feelings, or what the author labels ‘rapport-talk’ (private conversation).’
    • ‘In addition to the postponement of the family reunions, North Korea also said it wants Mt. Kumgang to serve as the venue for a series of scheduled inter-Korean talks, including the ministerial parley.’
    • ‘The report indicated that the matter has seen hectic parleys between the various industry chambers and the government.’
    • ‘The successful parleys led to the independence of the predominantly Protestant Northern Netherlands and the foundation of the Dutch Republic.’
    • ‘But the Congress veteran, who was in the midst of hectic parleys connected with the ongoing crisis in the party, failed to make it for the function.’
    • ‘And he wastes no time signaling that the parley is over.’
    • ‘It had actually been a very difficult job to identify to hotel, where the duo had been presumably in deep sleep, readying themselves for the next day's parleys.’
    • ‘According to one story, they took unfair advantage by attacking when a parley was in progress.’
    • ‘Too much need not be said about the two-day parleys of the Foreign Secretaries but, even at the risk of stressing the obvious, it must be said that these have been more relaxed and constructive talks of their kind in recent years.’
    • ‘The team would hold parleys with higher authorities of the state government.’
    • ‘These informal parleys over our communication system keep us in good humour.’
    • ‘His method was what he called informally ‘jaw-jaw’ or, more formally, ‘a parley at the summit’.’
    • ‘When Abraham won the war, there ensued a brief parley between himself and the king of Sodom.’
    • ‘Several parleys were held and whenever any reasonable solution to the problem was in sight, the government backed out of it on one pretext or another.’
    • ‘Rather, two weeks before Amherst suggested the idea, infected blankets were given to two visiting Indian chiefs during a parley at Fort Pitt.’
    • ‘History is replete with instances of misguided leaders believing they were statesmen and entering into parleys and talks with intractable and cunning enemies.’
    • ‘In the halls of NBA front offices, in the power lunches, agent meetings and cell-phone parleys, it was a summer of impressive work by the league's best teams.’
    • ‘Most of the foreign soldiers followed their order to charge if the parley was attacked.’
    negotiation, talk, talks, meeting, conference, summit, discussion, dialogue, conclave, consultation, deliberation, colloquy
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[no object]
  • Hold a conference with the opposing side to discuss terms.

    ‘they disagreed over whether to parley with the enemy’
    • ‘He refused to comment on rumors that the two companies are already parleying.’
    • ‘We will never parley; we will never negotiate with Hitler or any of his gang.’
    • ‘For two and a half months, the military command had parleyed and negotiated with the racialist thug and his group, which included both active and retired senior military and intelligence officers.’
    • ‘Prabowo parleyed with the leaders of the demonstrations and received their log of claims (for jobs, education for their children and the like).’
    • ‘The troops halted as Macdonald, Younghusband and Captain O'Connor, political assistant and interpreter, went forward to parley with the Tibetans.’
    • ‘For example, the Saturday assistant in a local electrical outlet isn't a good person to parley with.’
    • ‘My dear lords and ladies, disperse, and a week hence we'll parley anew.’
    • ‘This was well, for the enemy was drawing near again, though it appeared they meant to parley.’
    • ‘Fitzpatrick camped a comfortable three miles away and rode over to parley with the chief.’
    • ‘Imagine him rushing to Berlin after the downturn in Axis fortunes to parley with the man in charge because he was the democratically elected leader and symbol of the renascent German nation.’
    • ‘Raven had little desire to parley with their enemies, but she had been given an order.’
    • ‘Two Brazilian regiments were ordered to the Campo, field guns trained on the barracks, and a deputation of senators sent to parley with the rebels.’
    • ‘In most situations you will be attacked by them before there is even an opportunity to parley.’
    • ‘They parleyed and left us with an imperfect independence.’
    • ‘The past is another country, and as foreigners who visit it, the quality we novelists and historians most need is tact when we parley and fossick.’
    • ‘It was rather amusing for me, watching these two gentlemen parley.’
    • ‘My next idea was to parley with one of our boys in blue, but damn, I hate talking to cops.’
    • ‘If one side tried to parley with the other, it would surely be crushed.’
    • ‘It continues a tradition of apt venues for the awards which for years were held in the Merchant Adventurers Hall in York - that wondrous 14th century Foss-side building where business people have gathered and parleyed for centuries.’
    • ‘Oh, they parley endlessly… then hope to achieve whatever objective they set out for themselves, to put it simply.’
    discuss terms, talk, hold talks, speak to each other, confer, consult with each other, negotiate, deliberate
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Late Middle English (denoting speech or debate): perhaps from Old French parlee ‘spoken’, feminine past participle of the verb parler.