par·lay (pärlā′, -lē)
tr.v. par·layed, par·lay·ing, par·lays
1. To bet (an original wager and its winnings) on a subsequent event.
2. To use to great advantage or transform into something better: parlayed some small investments into a large fortune.
A bet comprising the sum of a prior wager plus its winnings or a series of bets made in such a manner.
[Alteration of paroli, staking of double the sum staked before in faro, from French, from obsolete Italian, probably from Italian parare, to place a bet, from Latin parāre, to prepare; see PARE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.