• (British) IPA: /pəˈlɑː.və(ɹ)/


  1. (Africa) A village council meeting.
  2. Talk, especially unnecessary talk; chatter.
    • 1886, Henry James, The Princess Casamassima.
      These remarks were received with a differing demonstration: some of the company declaring that if the Dutchman cared to come round and smoke a pipe they would be glad to see him—perhaps he'd show where the thumbscrews had been put on; others being strongly of the opinion that they didn't want any more advice—they had already had advice enough to turn a donkey's stomach. What they wanted was to put forth their might without any more palaver; to do something, or for some one; to go out somewhere and smash something, on the spot—why not?—that very night.
    • 1899, Stephen Crane, Active Service:
      Knowing full well the right time and the wrong time for a palaver of regret and disavowal, this battalion struggled in the desperation of despair.
    • 1985, Justin Richards, Option Lock, p 229:
      Not for the first time, he reflected that it was not so much the speeches that strained the nerves as the palaver that went with them.
  3. Talk intended to deceive.
  4. Fuss.
    What a palaver!
  5. A meeting at which there is much talk; a debate; a moot.
    • this epoch of parliaments and eloquent palavers
  6. (informal) Disagreement.
    I have no palaver with him.
Synonyms Translations Translations
  • French: palabre
  • German: Palaver
  • Russian: до́лгие перегово́ры

palaver (palavers, present participle palavering; past and past participle palavered)

  1. To discuss with much talk.
    • 1860, Atlantic Monthly, vol. 5, no. 30 (April),
      “That,” he rejoined, “is a way we Americans have. We cannot stop to palaver. What would become of our manifest destiny?”
  2. To flatter.

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