The Parley by Frederic Remington, 1903, depicting a settler parleying with a Native American.

A parley (from French: parler – "to speak") refers to a discussion or conference, especially one designed to end an argument or hostilities between two groups of people. As a verb, the term can be used in both past and present tense; in present tense the term is referred to as parleying.[1][2][3][4] In some cases, opposing parties would signal their intent to invoke parley by using a white flag,[5] however the use of a white flag to invoke or request parley is not considered mandatory.

The term parley has been used to refer to numerous high-profile meetings of the 20th century, including the London and Paris Conferences held in 1954 to determine the status of West Germany.[6]

In popular culture

Below are some examples where a parley is a significant element of the plot.


  1. ^ "parley". Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  2. ^ "parley". Oxford Dictionary of English. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on January 10, 2021. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  3. ^ "parley". Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, United States: Merriam-Webster. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  4. ^ "parley". Collins English Dictionary. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  5. ^ "The Avalon Project - Laws of War : Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague II); July 29, 1899". Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  6. ^ "At NATO, a diplomatic triumph for Dulles". Life. New York City, United States: Henry Luce. May 19, 1957. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  7. ^ PenzeyMoog, Caitlin (July 9, 2017). "Fear The Walking Dead highlights how awful white people are". AV Club.