from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A particular manner of speaking; idiom: legal parlance.
  • n. Speech, especially a conversation or parley.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A certain way of speaking, of using words, especially when it comes to those with a particular job or interest.
  • n. Speech, discussion or debate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Conversation; discourse; talk; diction; phrase

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Speech; conversation; discourse; talk; language; manner of expression; conference.
  • n. In common parlance, in the usual mode of speech; in ordinary language.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a manner of speaking that is natural to native speakers of a language


Middle French, from Old French, from parler, to speak; see parley.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman parlance, parlaunce, from parler ("to talk") + -ance. (Wiktionary)



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  • Parlance is obviously based on answerance to specific askance.

    October 17, 2009

  • Do you too parle vous mon petit bleu? Wee, wee, Sherry!

    September 1, 2007

  • I agree, seanahan. It seems frilly yet utilitarian to me.

    June 22, 2007

  • This is another way to say lingo, vernacular, idiom, etc. I think it sounds less technical, but more high class.

    June 22, 2007