Word curio icon

Word Curio

July 29, 2021

Word of the Day: Palaver

2 CQ

Word of the Day : July 29, 2021

palaver \puh-LAV-er\ noun


1 a : a long discussion or meeting parley usually between persons of different cultures or levels of sophistication

b : conference, discussion

2 a : idle talk

b : misleading or beguiling speech

Did You Know?

During the 18th century, Portuguese and English sailors often met during trading trips along the West African coast. This contact prompted the English to borrow the Portuguese palavra, which usually means "speech" or "word" but was used by Portuguese traders with the specific meaning "discussions with natives." The Portuguese word traces back to the Late Latin parabola, a noun meaning "speech" or "parable."

Aired July 29, 2021

All Merriam-Webster content is available at

  • Recommended Recommended
  • History & In Progress History
  • Browse Library
  • Most Popular Library

Get Personalized Recommendations

Let us help you figure out what to learn! By taking a short interview you’ll be able to specify your learning interests and goals, so we can recommend the perfect courses and lessons to try next.

Start Interview

You don't have any lessons in your history.
Just find something that looks interesting and start learning!

500 characters max