Definitions

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

  • noun A house or a section of a house reserved for women members of a Muslim household.
  • noun The wives, concubines, female relatives, and servants occupying such a place.
  • noun A group of women who are sexual partners of the same man.
  • noun A group of female animals that breed exclusively with a single dominant male.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The group of female fur-seals (cows) controlled by a single male fur-seal (bull): the unit of life on the fur-seal rookeries.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A sacred place; either of the holy cities Mecca and Medina, called the two harems, as places prohibited to infidels.

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

  • noun The apartments or portion of the house allotted to females in Mohammedan families.
  • noun The family of wives and concubines belonging to one man, in Mohammedan countries; a seraglio.

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

  • noun The private part of an Arab household. In traditional Arab culture, this part of the household was forbidden to male strangers.
  • noun A group of women, wives and/or concubines in a polygamous household.
  • noun 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun living quarters reserved for wives and concubines and female relatives in a Muslim household

Etymologies

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

[Turkish, from Arabic ḥarīm, forbidden place, from ḥarama, to prohibit; see x̣rm in Semitic roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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)

Examples

  • Cleopatra _Cleopatra_ compatriot _compatriot_ gratis _gratis_ or _grahtis_ harem _harem_ or _hahrem_ heinous _hanous_ hiatus _hiatus_ implacable _implakable_ nape _nap_ née _na_ négligé _naglezha'_ patron _patron_ protégé _protazha'_ résumé _razuma'_ tenacious _tenashus_ tomato _tomato_ or _tomahto_ valet _va'la_ or _val'et_ vase _vas, vahz_, or _vaz_ veracious _verashus_ vivacious _vivashus_

    Practical Grammar and Composition

  • The Turkish harem comes from the Arabic word Ḥarām, meaning

    Blogging Beats, Amanda Marcotte, and Seal Press

  • The Turkish harem comes from the Arabic word Ḥarām, meaning

    SeeLight:

  • The most obvious yet often unasked question - why the term harem to qualify this pant?

    Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture

  • In long passages both bawdy and fantastic, we are shown how the feminine principle makes nonsense of all forms of statecraft, including even the cleverest ones adumbrated in The Prince, and how the distance between the boudoir and the bordello or zenana or harem is disconcertingly short.

    Cassocks and Codpieces

  • In long passages both bawdy and fantastic, we are shown how the feminine principle makes nonsense of all forms of statecraft, including even the cleverest ones adumbrated in The Prince, and how the distance between the boudoir and the bordello or zenana or harem is disconcertingly short.

    Cassocks and Codpieces

  • In long passages both bawdy and fantastic, we are shown how the feminine principle makes nonsense of all forms of statecraft, including even the cleverest ones adumbrated in The Prince, and how the distance between the boudoir and the bordello or zenana or harem is disconcertingly short.

    Cassocks and Codpieces

  • Now why would westeners even assign the word harem to these pants, even the ones that are really that style and not trousers with gathered legs?

    "Those are winter harem pants. Do you hear me? HAREM PANTS. For WINTER."

  • Cue Egyptian babe, resplendent in harem gear and packing heat.

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • Cue Egyptian babe, resplendent in harem gear and packing heat.

    Archive 2007-03-01

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • WeirdNet #2 gives the impression there are harems on the market, just waiting for tenants...

    December 2, 2008

  • Well-spotted VO. Not many people have been calling about my ad for the spare room so perhaps I should describe it as a harem.

    December 2, 2008