[broth-uhl, broth-, braw-thuhl, -thuhl]
a house of prostitution.

1350–1400 for earlier sense; short for brothel-house whore-house; Middle English brothel harlot, orig. worthless person, equivalent to broth- (past participle stem of brethen, Old English brēothan to decay, degenerate) + -el noun suffix

brothellike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
brothel (ˈbrɒθəl)
1.  a house or other place where men pay to have sexual intercourse with prostitutes
2.  informal (Austral) any untidy or messy place
[C16: short for brothel-house, from C14 brothel useless person, from Old English brēothan to deteriorate; related to briethel worthless]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"bawdy house," 1590s, shortened from brothel-house, from brothel "prostitute" (late 15c.), earlier "vile, worthless person" of either sex (14c.), from O.E. broðen pp. of breoðan "deteriorate, go to ruin," from P.Gmc. *breuthanan, var. of *breutanan "to break" (cf.
brittle). In 16c. brothel-house was confused with unrelated bordel (see bordello) and shifted meaning from a person to a place.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He had several lovers and visited brothels frequently.
The economic contribution of brothels is one of the reasons that support for
  them endures.
Despite pressure from human-rights groups, the brothels flourish a mile from
  gleaming corporate buildings.
It's home to numerous well-tolerated legal brothels, more testament to that
  libertarian spirit.
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