Meaning of palter in English:



[no object] archaic
  • 1Equivocate or prevaricate in action or speech.

    ‘if you palter or double in your answers, I will have thee hung alive in an iron chain’
    • ‘He is the patron saint of fibbing (also known as paltering).’
    • ‘Too much paltering in journalism is fatal to a writer's development.’
    • ‘What a paltering - what a childish paltering - unworthy of a schoolboy - is his solemn denial that the Pilgrims sailed for New England because they were persecuted.’
    prevarication, vagueness, qualification, ambiguity, uncertainty, ambivalence, indecision, doubt
  • 2palter withTrifle with.

    ‘this great work should not be paltered with’
    • ‘He sought - and found - a man who paltered with the truth and monkeyed with the work of officials.’
    • ‘It is the worse, then, when he palters with the terms of banishment, allowing Bolingbroke to return in six years, Mowbray never.’
    • ‘So to hold is near to saying that we have been paltering with justice.’
    • ‘Paltering with "God's truth," then, is playing fast and loose with the metonyms that may be interpreted authoritatively only by the patriarchy.’
    treat in a cavalier fashion, treat lightly, treat frivolously, treat casually, play ducks and drakes with



/ˈpɔːltə/ /ˈpɒltə/


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘mumble or babble’): of unknown origin.