Definitions

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

  • n. A room in a private home set apart for the entertainment of visitors.
  • n. A small lounge or sitting room affording limited privacy, as at an inn or tavern.
  • n. A room equipped and furnished for a special function or business: a tanning parlor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A covered open-air patio.
  • n. A room for lounging (especially for reading); a sitting-room; a drawing room.
  • n. The apartment in a monastery or nunnery where the inmates are permitted to meet and converse with each other, or with visitors and friends from the outside.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A room for business or social conversation, for the reception of guests, etc.
  • n. The apartment in a monastery or nunnery where the inmates are permitted to meet and converse with each other, or with visitors and friends from without.
  • n. In large private houses, a sitting room for the family and for familiar guests, -- a room for less formal uses than the drawing-room. Esp., in modern times, the dining room of a house having few apartments, as a London house, where the dining parlor is usually on the ground floor.
  • n. Commonly, in the United States, a drawing-room, or the room where visitors are received and entertained; a room in a private house where people can sit and talk and relax, not usually the same as the dining room.
  • n. A room in an inn or club where visitors can be received.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Originally, a room set apart from the great hall for private conference and conversation; a withdrawing-room. It finally became the public room of a private house. See def. 3.
  • n. An apartment in a convent, asylum, inn, hospital, hotel, boarding-school, or the like, in which the inmates are permitted to meet and converse with visitors.
  • n. A room in a private house set apart for the conversational entertainment of guests; a reception-room; a drawing-room; also, in Great Britain, the common sitting-room or keeping-room of a family, as distinguished from a drawing-room intended for the reception of company.
  • n. Vulgarly, any room more or less “elegantly” or showily furnished or fitted up, and devoted to some specific purpose: as, tonsorial parlors; a photographer's parlors; oyster parlors; misfit parlors.

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

  • n. reception room in an inn or club where visitors can be received
  • n. a room in a private house or establishment where people can sit and talk and relax

Etymologies

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

Middle English parlur, from Old French, from parler, to talk; see parley.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English parlour, parlur, French parloir, Late Latin parlatorium.

Examples

  • The term parlor generally denotes something other than massage within the industry.

    Summit Daily News - Top Stories

  • You have one room which you call the parlor, supposed to be the best in the house, as to its location, its finish, its furniture, and its use.

    Homes and How to Make Them

  • This he had placed in what he called the parlor that morning, after dusting it carefully and putting a fresh pillow case on the scanty pillow where Amy's head had lain.

    The Cromptons

  • That spending a trillion dollars to move the revenues from Social Security into the betting parlor is a way to make it solvent?

    Matthew Yglesias » More Condescension Needed

  • John Boehner, who looks like he suffers from a perennial case of ulcers and excessive visits to a tanning parlor, is leading the charge of his pale-faced Republicans.

    Murray Fromson: Wake Up America!

  • I've heard Hillary Clinton tell the story many times in speeches, and it rarely fails to bring a horrified gasp from the crowd: An uninsured and pregnant Ohio woman, working for minimum wage at a pizza parlor, is turned away from a hospital because she can't come up with $100.

    Oops. Another Clinton Story Turns Out To Be Not So True - Swampland - TIME.com

  • Up the Yangtze – My favorite order at the Asian massage parlor is now a documentary about the devastating effects of the Three Gorges Dam in China (bought by Zeitgeist, scheduled for April release).

    DOCUMENTARY ROUNDUP

  • The Brighams ice cream parlor is now a health food shop … times they are a changing ….

    Scripting News for 5/21/2007 « Scripting News Annex

  • The body, what is often referred to as parlor size, is smaller than most contemporary acoustic guitars.

    Guitar Fridays: 1921 Martin 00-28

  • If a parlor is open later than 11 pm or midnight, you can be reasonably sure that it offers more than just massages.

    Matthew Yglesias » Cleaned Up!

Comments

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  • Jim and Artie spend a lot of time in this part of the train, either training, eating or hanging out.

    October 1, 2012

  • it better have happened in a shop, you see

    February 19, 2007