harem

[hair-uhm, har-]
noun
1.
the part of a Muslim palace or house reserved for the residence of women.
2.
the women in a Muslim household, including the mother, sisters, wives, concubines, daughters, entertainers, and servants.
3.
Animal Behavior. a social group of females, as elephant seals, accompanied or followed by one fertile male who denies other males access to the group.
4.
Facetious: Sometimes Offensive. a group of women associated in any way with one man or household: I really resent it when our boss refers to us as his harem, though he's trying to be funny.
Also, haram, hareem, harim.


Origin:
1625–35; < Arabic harīm harem, literally, forbidden


In the meaning “a group of women associated with one man,” harem is used for humorous effect. But this sense is sometimes perceived as insulting because it implies that the man collects women like objects.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To harem
Collins
World English Dictionary
harem or hareem (ˈhɛərəm, hɑːˈriːm)
 
n
1.  the part of an Oriental house reserved strictly for wives, concubines, etc
2.  a Muslim's wives and concubines collectively
3.  a group of female animals of the same species that are the mates of a single male
 
[C17: from Arabic harīm forbidden (place)]
 
hareem or hareem
 
n
 
[C17: from Arabic harīm forbidden (place)]

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

harem
1634, from Turk. harem, from Arabic haram "wives and concubines," originally "women's quarters," lit. "something forbidden or kept safe," from root of harama "he guarded, forbade."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Best was the first sports-media star with his harem and fashion lines.
His innovations included the chemise, harem pants and pantaloons and the
  popular lampshade skirt.
Menstrual synchrony limits harem fertility, discouraging the keeping of harems.
Tourists, almost invariably wearing colorful harem pants, brush shoulders with
  locals.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;