SERAIL

seraglio

[si-ral-yoh, -rahl-]
noun, plural seraglios.
1.
the part of a Muslim house or palace in which the wives and concubines are secluded; harem.
2.
a Turkish palace, especially of the sultan.
Also called serail [suh-rahy, -rahyl, -reyl] .


Origin:
1575–85; < Italian serraglio < Persian sarāy palace; sense development in Italian perhaps influenced by serrare to lock up

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World English Dictionary
seraglio or serail (sɛˈrɑːlɪˌəʊ, səˈraɪ, -ˈraɪl, -ˈreɪl)
 
n , pl -raglios, -rails
1.  the harem of a Muslim house or palace
2.  a sultan's palace, esp in the former Turkish empire
3.  the wives and concubines of a Muslim
 
[C16: from Italian serraglio animal cage, from Medieval Latin serrāculum bolt, from Latin sera a door bar; associated also with Turkish seray palace]
 
serail or serail
 
n
 
[C16: from Italian serraglio animal cage, from Medieval Latin serrāculum bolt, from Latin sera a door bar; associated also with Turkish seray palace]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

seraglio
"harem," also the name of a former palace of the sultan in Istanbul, 1581, from It. seraglio, alteration of Turk. saray "palace, court," from Pers. sara'i "palace, inn," from Iranian base *thraya- "to protect" (cf. Avestan thrayeinti "they protect"). The It. word probably reflects folk etymology influence
of serraglio "enclosure, cage," from M.L. serraculum "bung, stopper" (see serried).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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