from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A house or a section of a house reserved for women members of a Muslim household.
- n. The wives, concubines, female relatives, and servants occupying such a place.
- n. A group of women sexual partners for one man.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The private part of an Arab household. In traditional Arab culture, this part of the household was forbidden to male strangers.
- n. A group of women, wives and/or concubines in a polygamous household.
- n. A group of female animals (cows) herded and controlled by a male animal (bull) of that species for breeding purposes. Such behaviour is exhibited by bovids including cattle and buffalo as well as moose, elephants, seals, sea lions, sea elephants.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The apartments or portion of the house allotted to females in Mohammedan families.
- n. The family of wives and concubines belonging to one man, in Mohammedan countries; a seraglio.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Turkey, Egypt, Syria, etc., the part of a dwelling-house, including an inclosed courtyard, appropriated to the female members of a Mohammedan family, and so constructed as to secure the utmost seclusion and privacy. In India the corresponding chambers, offices, and inclosure are called the zenana.
- n. Collectively, the occupants of a harem, consisting in a Mohammedan family of the wife, or wives (usually to the number of four), female relatives of the husband, female slaves or concubines, and sometimes eunuchs as guardians and attendants.
- n. A sacred place; either of the holy cities Mecca and Medina, called the two harems, as places prohibited to infidels.
- n. The group of female fur-seals (cows) controlled by a single male fur-seal (bull): the unit of life on the fur-seal rookeries.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. living quarters reserved for wives and concubines and female relatives in a Muslim household
Turkish, from Arabic ḥarīm, forbidden place, from ḥarama, to prohibit; see ḥrm in Semitic roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Turkish harem, from Arabic حرم (ḥaram) ‘something prohibited; sanctuary, women’; and later also from حريم (ḥarīm) with same meaning, both from حرم (ḥaruma) ‘be forbidden or unlawful’. (Eng. usg. 1623) (Wiktionary)