American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A concubine or woman slave in a harem.
- n. historical A female slave in a harem, especially one in the Ottoman seraglio.
- n. A desirable or sexually attractive woman.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A female slave or concubine in the harem of the Turkish sultan.
- n. a woman slave in a harem
- From French, from Ottoman Turkish اوطهلق (odalık, "chambermaid"), from اوده (oda, "room"). (Wiktionary)
- French, from Turkish ōdalik, chambermaid : ōdah, room + -lik, suff. expressing function. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“A further ironic implication of Farrell's, Boucher's, and Moore's use of the imagery of the odalisque is that the signification of "odalisque" as concubine is itself a projection of the European mind, since its original Turkish meaning is simply that of "'woman of the room [oda],' implying a general servant status" (Croutier 30-32).”
“Similarly, Boucher's model for an odalisque is not an actual Circassian, Georgian, or Abkhasian woman (as an odalisque in Turkey likely would have been) (Croutier 30); instead she is from Ireland, a not quite as foreign European colony, and the fantasy is safely controlled.”
“Whether Lalla Rookh, Larry Rourke, the Madonna Irlanda, or Mademoiselle O'Murphy, the Irish odalisque is no paradox or oxymoron.”
“If "odalisque" had been what Ray called an objectionable word, he would have thrown the picture out in the first place.”
“UP Pompeii: UK girl taken - to be turned into an "odalisque”
“odalisque", it is not only white girls that are taken, many from India and Sri Lanka are also taken”
“An elongated odalisque and a pair of unexpectedly spontaneous studies for the voluptuous fantasy "The Turkish Bath" remind us that distinctions between Romanticism and Neo-Classicism may be irrelevant.”
“Olympia," a contemporary odalisque propped on silken pillows, with a maid bearing flowers and a black cat in attendance, was accepted in 1865.”
“In "Feeling me" (2004), she shows herself naked, posed as an odalisque against a black background with her husband's hand (all we see of him) resting on her distended belly.”
“From the young loner in his garret, a conventional archetype in a conventional style; to the prophet unrecognised in Paris, a Tahitian odalisque glowing behind him in the cold studio; right up to the shorn and spectacled invalid staring out of the blue twilight of his days.”
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