Definition of parlous in English:

parlous

adjective

humorous, archaic
  • Full of danger or uncertainty; precarious:

    ‘the parlous state of the economy’
    ‘the General's position was parlous’
    • ‘And how do you sap the energy of the insurgency when the parlous state of the economy keeps everyone desperately poor?’
    • ‘We come in day after day, lament the parlous state of the telecoms industry and resolve on a regular basis to get new means of employment.’
    • ‘Finally, I want to talk quite seriously about the parlous state of politics in this House.’
    • ‘That is not a high level of income, but when one considers a number of other issues one finds that it is becoming even more difficult and parlous for people to live on it.’
    • ‘The railways emerged in a parlous state, in dire need of a major overhaul.’
    bad, dire, dreadful, awful, terrible, appalling, frightful, grave, serious, desperate, precarious, uncertain, touch-and-go, difficult, unsafe, perilous, dangerous, risky
    pitiful, wretched, sorry, poor, lamentable, woeful, hopeless
    dicey, hairy, lousy
    dodgy, chronic
    View synonyms

adverb

archaic
  • Greatly or excessively:

    ‘she is parlous handsome’
    • ‘Is the state of American political fiction really so parlous perilous?’

Origin

Late Middle English: contraction of perilous.

Pronunciation

parlous

/ˈpɑːləs/