Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Law A woman who cohabits with a man without being legally married to him.
  • noun In certain societies, such as imperial China, a woman contracted to a man as a secondary wife, often having few legal rights and low social status.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A paramour, male or female.
  • noun A wife of inferior condition; one whose relation is in some respects that of a lawful wife, but who has not been united to the husband by the usual ceremonies: as, Hagar and Keturah, the concubines of Abraham.
  • noun A woman who cohabits with a man without being married to him; a kept mistress.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A woman who cohabits with a man without being his wife; a paramour.
  • noun A wife of inferior condition; a lawful wife, but not united to the man by the usual ceremonies, and of inferior condition. Such were Hagar and Keturah, the concubines of Abraham; and such concubines were allowed by the Roman laws. Their children were not heirs of their father.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A woman who lives with a man, but who is not a wife.
  • noun A slave-girl for sexual service prominent in all ancient cultures.
  • noun Signifies a relationship where the male is the dominant partner, socially and economically
  • noun A woman attached to a man solely for reproduction, and who cares for the resulting children without any romantic relationship.
  • noun a woman residing in a harem and kept, as by a sultan or emperor, for sexual purposes.
  • noun A woman kept by a man who is high in hierarchial society in addition to his wives, e.g in the imperial harem or within a household.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a woman who cohabits with an important man

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin concubīna : com-, com- + cubāre, to lie down.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Origin: 1250–1300; Middle English, from Anglo-Norman, from Latin concubīna, equivalent to concub- (variant stem of concumbō ("to lie together")) + feminine suffix -īna.

Examples

  • The south-east's property shortage could be solved overnight if London's single blokes were forced to take a live-in concubine (or rent boy, if they're that way inclined).

    A Giant Leap For Personkind ?

  • Caliph’s concubine is also drugged by the Lady Aubaydah.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • When he explained his fear that I would otherwise be called his concubine and that the scandal would harm the revolution, I agreed.

    The Last Empress

  • The practice, abolished in 1921, meant that the child of a Crown Prince and a concubine was the legal heir to the throne.

    Kickboxing Geishas

  • A concubine was a kind of institutionalized mistress, acquired and discarded at will.

    WILD SWANS THREE DAUGHTERS OF CHINA

  • A concubine was a kind of institutionalized mistress, acquired and discarded at will.

    Wild Swans

  • A concubine was a kind of institutionalized mistress, acquired and discarded at will.

    Wild Swans

  • Collar found in girl's possession had Dyran's brand, identified as concubine collar last worn by Serina Daeth, slave who escaped to desert under sentence of death for bearing halfblood.

    The Elvenbane

  • She was his lawful wife; but, according to the style of the Hebrews, is called concubine, because of her servile extraction.

    The Bible, Douay-Rheims, Complete The Challoner Revision

  • She was his servant, but not his harlot: and is called his concubine, as wives of an inferior degree are commonly called in the

    The Bible, Douay-Rheims, Complete The Challoner Revision

Comments

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  • Always sounded to me like an agricultural machine for harvesting cucumbers.

    January 24, 2008

  • A phallacious connection. ;-)

    January 24, 2008