Parol Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Parol, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Parol?

Any expression by the word of mouth or oral and not written.

History and Meaning of Parol

The term "parol" comes from the Old French word "parole," which means "word." In legal contexts, "parol" refers to any expression or agreement that is made orally, rather than in writing. The term is often used in the context of contract law, where a "parol agreement" is a verbal agreement that may or may not be legally binding.

In some cases, parol evidence may be admissible in court to help clarify the terms of a written agreement. For example, if there is a dispute over the terms of a contract, a party may be allowed to introduce parol evidence to show that the parties intended for the agreement to include additional terms that were not written down.

Examples of Parol

  1. A landlord and tenant agree over the phone that the tenant can have a pet in their apartment, even though the lease agreement prohibits pets.
  2. Two business partners agree verbally to divide profits evenly, even though their written partnership agreement specifies a different division of profits.
  3. An employee and employer agree verbally that the employee will receive a certain bonus for meeting a sales target, even though the bonus is not mentioned in the written employee contract.

Legal Terms Similar to Parol

  1. Oral contract: An agreement that is made orally or verbally, rather than in writing.
  2. Implied contract: An agreement that is inferred from the actions or conduct of the parties involved, rather than explicitly stated.
  3. Unilateral contract: A contract in which one party makes an offer that the other party can accept only by performing a specific act or undertaking a specific obligation.