[pahr-ley, -lee] /ˈpɑr leɪ, -li/

verb (used with object)
to bet or gamble (an original amount and its winnings) on a subsequent race, contest, etc.
Informal. to use (one’s money, talent, or other assets) to achieve a desired objective, as spectacular wealth or success:
He parlayed a modest inheritance into a fortune.
a bet of an original sum and the subsequent winnings.
verb (transitive)
to stake (winnings from one bet) on a subsequent wager Brit equivalent double up
to exploit (one’s talent) to achieve worldly success
a bet in which winnings from one wager are staked on another, or a series of such bets

1701, parloi, term in the card game faro, from French paroli, from Italian parole (Neapolitan paroli) “words, promises,” plural of parolo (see parole). Meaning “exploit to advantage” is from 1942.


To build or increase something from a small initial outlay or possession: She parlayed her dimples into movie superstardom

[1942+; fr horse racing, ”place a series of increasing bets,” found by 1895, fr paralee or parlee, an early 1800s faro term fr Italian parole, ”words, promises”]


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