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seraglio

[si-ral-yoh, -rahl-] /sɪˈræl yoʊ, -ˈrɑl-/
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] /səˈraɪ, -ˈraɪl, -ˈreɪl/ (Show IPA)
.
Origin of seraglio
1575-1585
1575-85; < Italian serraglio < Persian sarāy palace; sense development in Italian perhaps influenced by serrare to lock up
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for seraglio

seraglio

/sɛˈrɑːlɪˌəʊ/
noun (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
Word Origin
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for seraglio
n.

"harem," also the name of a former palace of the sultan in Istanbul, 1580s, from Italian seraglio, alteration of Turkish saray "palace, court," from Persian sara'i "palace, inn," from Iranian base *thraya- "to protect" (cf. Avestan thrayeinti "they protect"), from PIE *tra-, variant form of root *tere- "to cross over, pass through, overcome" (see through).

The Italian word probably reflects folk etymology influence of serraglio "enclosure, cage," from Medieval Latin serraculum "bung, stopper" (see serried).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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