Definitions

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

  • n. Conversation or discussion preliminary to negotiation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A diplomatic consultation, preliminary to a treaty.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A consultation preliminary to a treaty.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A preliminary conference of a more or less informal nature; a consultation preliminary to subsequent negotiation.

Etymologies

French, from Old French, to discuss with the aim of reaching agreement, conversation preliminary to an agreement : pour, for, before (from Old French, from Latin prō; see pro-1) + parler, to talk; see parley.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowing from French. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • David said, comprehending it all, and, when Lord Windlehurst appealed to her, offering by a word contribution to the 'pourparler', she was studying David as steadily as her heated senses would permit her.

    The Project Gutenberg Complete Works of Gilbert Parker

  • While her mind was engaged subconsciously with what Lord Windlehurst and David said, comprehending it all, and, when Lord Windlehurst appealed to her, offering by a word contribution to the 'pourparler', she was studying David as steadily as her heated senses would permit her.

    The Weavers: a tale of England and Egypt of fifty years ago - Volume 2

  • The last-named group on the other hand, produced much pourparler, for Jay maintained that these Negroes were "clearly comprehended by the terms of the treaty."

    The Journal of Negro History, Volume 5, 1920

  • The official drummer could explain by the high and low alternations of his taps that a deed of violence just done was not a crime but a pourparler for the forming of a league.

    American Negro Slavery A Survey of the Supply, Employment and Control of Negro Labor as Determined by the Plantation Regime

  • The old woman in Normandy had written, oh, yes; but then there must have been a great pourparler, and even Félicité had grown angry.

    The Halo

  • Further, Mr. Stent accompanied Cecil Rhodes to the Mattopo hills, where the late Colossus went unarmed to hold with the Matabele chiefs the pourparler which brought about the peace of Southern Rhodesia.

    Chapter X

  • To humour a madman -- that is what one always advised, therefore Stolphe would make the pourparler, as the French say.

    The Money Master, Volume 5.

  • Still, I managed to be equal to the occasion, and held a long _pourparler_ with the Prince, his courtiers standing around, in a room which he had furnished in the European style, with two Chinese chairs and a table!

    Corea or Cho-sen The Land of the Morning Calm

  • When both the persons to be wedded possess fathers, a friendly pourparler takes place between the two papas and in the course of repeated libations of wine, the terms are settled, and with the help of a "wise man" a lucky day is named, upon which the wedding shall take place.

    Corea or Cho-sen The Land of the Morning Calm

  • The besieged emperor somewhat relaxed the austerity of his demeanour at this; another pourparler took place, in the midst of which the fox told the Commission to mention (as if casually) that among others there would be a clause restoring independence to all those princes and archdukes whose domains the late Kapchack had annexed.

    Wood Magic A Fable

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