Definitions

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

  • noun A seductive, alluring woman.
  • noun One of the beautiful virgins of the Koranic paradise.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Among the Mohammedans, a nymph of Paradise.

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

  • noun A nymph of paradise; -- so called by the Mohammedans.

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

  • noun Islam A nymph in the form of a beautiful virgin supposed to dwell in Paradise for the enjoyment of the faithful.
  • noun Any voluptuous, beautiful woman.

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

  • noun a voluptuously beautiful young woman
  • noun (Islam) one of the dark-eyed virgins of perfect beauty believed to live with the blessed in Paradise

Etymologies

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

[French, from Persian ḥūrī, from Arabic ḥūrīya, nymph, houri, from ḥūr, pl. of ḥawrā’, feminine of ’aḥwar, possessing ḥawar, intense whiteness of the sclera contrasting with deep blackness of the iris of the eye; see ḥwr in Semitic roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French houri, from Persian حوری, from Arabic حور in حورالعين ‘(women) with eyes like gazelles’.

Examples

  • His passion for revenge was even more determined than his admiration for the "houri," as he called the maiden.

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  • Muslims, do you believe "houri" means grapes as some Muslim scholars have interpreted it?

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  • And beyond his star-gazing, in his far-imagined heavens, Valkyrie or houri, man has fain made place for her, for he could see no heaven without her.

    Chapter 21

  • Till you're blue in the face, you darling houri, thinks I - but for answer all I did was kiss her hands.

    Fiancée

  • Ilderim grinned and wagged his ugly head, and I cursed, thinking here was some bazaar houri plying her trade where it was least wanted, but I staggered out, and sure enough at the foot of the steps was a veiled woman in a sari, but with a burly-looking escort standing farther back at the gate.

    Fiancée

  • There is nothing carnal intimated at all in the relationship between the righteous soul and the “houri”.

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  • She'd worn uncommon well; middle sixties and still shaped like a Turkish belly-dancer, with the same guileless idiot smile and wondrous blue eyes that had set me slavering when she was sixteen - she'd performed like a demented houri then, and who was to say she'd lost the taste in half a century?

    Watershed

  • The light over her bunk flicked on and he was staring into the muzzle of an automatic, held rock-steady by this little houri.

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  • It was in this spirit that I was able to roger that houri in Borneo during the Batang Lupar battle, whimpering fearfully the while, and do justice to Mrs Popplewell while in flight from the outraged townsfolk of Harper's Ferry.

    Watershed

  • My one regret as I tooled back to London was that I hadn't been able to bid a riotous farewell to Caprice; she'd been worth the trip, ne'er mind spoking Otto's wheel, and I found myself smiling fondly as I thought of Punch and the gauzy lace clinging to that houri shape in the sunlight ...

    Watershed

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