concubine

concubine

[kong-kyuh-bahyn, kon-]
noun
1.
a woman who cohabits with a man to whom she is not legally married, especially one regarded as socially or sexually subservient; mistress.
2.
(among polygamous peoples) a secondary wife, usually of inferior rank.
3.
(especially formerly in Muslim societies) a woman residing in a harem and kept, as by a sultan, for sexual purposes.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin concubīna, equivalent to concub- (variant stem of concumbere to lie together; see con-, incumbent) + -īna feminine suffix

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To concubine
Collins
World English Dictionary
concubine (ˈkɒŋkjʊˌbaɪn, ˈkɒn-)
 
n
1.  (in polygamous societies) a secondary wife, usually of lower social rank
2.  a woman who cohabits with a man
 
[C13: from Old French, from Latin concubīna, from concumbere to lie together, from cubare to lie]
 
concubinary
 
n, —adj

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

concubine
c.1300, from L. concubina (fem.), from concumbere "to lie with," from com- "with" + cubare "to lie down." Recognized by law among polygamous peoples as "a secondary wife."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Easton
Bible Dictionary

Concubine definition


in the Bible denotes a female conjugally united to a man, but in a relation inferior to that of a wife. Among the early Jews, from various causes, the difference between a wife and a concubine was less marked than it would be amongst us. The concubine was a wife of secondary rank. There are various laws recorded providing for their protection (Ex. 21:7; Deut. 21:10-14), and setting limits to the relation they sustained to the household to which they belonged (Gen. 21:14; 25:6). They had no authority in the family, nor could they share in the household government. The immediate cause of concubinage might be gathered from the conjugal histories of Abraham and Jacob (Gen. 16;30). But in process of time the custom of concubinage degenerated, and laws were made to restrain and regulate it (Ex. 21:7-9). Christianity has restored the sacred institution of marriage to its original character, and concubinage is ranked with the sins of fornication and adultery (Matt. 19:5-9; 1 Cor. 7:2).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature