from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A large harem.
- n. A sultan's palace. Also called serai.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The palace of the Grand Seignior in Constantinople.
- n. The sequestered living quarters used by wives and concubines in a Turkish Muslim household.
- n. A brothel or place of debauchery.
- n. An interior cage or enclosed courtyard for keeping wild beasts.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An inclosure; a place of separation.
- n. The palace of the Grand Seignior, or Turkish sultan, at Constantinople, inhabited by the sultan himself, and all the officers and dependents of his court. In it are also kept the females of the harem.
- n. A harem; a place for keeping wives or concubines; sometimes, loosely, a place of licentious pleasure; a house of debauchery.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An inclosure; a place to which certain persons are confined, or where they are restricted within prescribed bounds.
- n. A walled palace; specifically, the chief or official palace of the Sultan of Turkey at Constantinople. It is of great size, and contains government buildings, mosques, etc., as well as the sultan's harem.
- n. A place for the seclusion of concubines; a harem; hence, a place of licentious pleasure.
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
Italian serraglio, enclosure, seraglio, probably partly from Vulgar Latin *serraculum, enclosure (from *serrāre, to lace up, from Latin serāre, from sera, door-bar) and partly from Turkish saray, palace (from Persian sarāy, inn).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian seraglio, from Vulgar Latin *serrāculum, from a late form of Latin serāre ("lock up, close"), from sera ("lock, bolt"). The Italian word was used (because of phonetic similarity) to translate Persian سرای (sarāy, "lodgings, residence"). Compare serai, serail. (Wiktionary)