harlot

[hahr-luht]
noun
a prostitute; whore.

Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English: young idler, rogue < Old French herlot, of obscure origin

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World English Dictionary
harlot (ˈhɑːlət)
 
n
1.  a prostitute or promiscuous woman
 
adj
2.  archaic of or like a harlot
 
[C13: from Old French herlot rascal, of obscure origin]
 
'harlotry
 
n

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

harlot
early 13c., "vagabond," from O.Fr. herlot, arlot "vagabond, tramp" (usually male in M.E. and O.Fr.), with forms in O.Prov. (arlot), O.Sp. arlote), and It. (arlotto), of unknown origin. Used in both positive and pejorative senses by Chaucer; applied to jesters, buffoons, jugglers, later to actors. Sense
of "prostitute" probably had developed by 14c. but reinforced by use as euphemism for "strumpet, whore" in 16c. translations of the Bible. The word may be Gmc., with an original sense of "camp follower," if the first element is hari "army," as some suspect.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Harlot definition


(1.) Heb. zonah (Gen. 34:31; 38:15). In verses 21, 22 the Hebrew word used in _kedeshah_, i.e., a woman consecrated or devoted to prostitution in connection with the abominable worship of Asherah or Astarte, the Syrian Venus. This word is also used in Deut. 23:17; Hos. 4:14. Thus Tamar sat by the wayside as a consecrated kedeshah. It has been attempted to show that Rahab, usually called a "harlot" (Josh. 2:1; 6:17; Heb. 11:31; James 2:25), was only an innkeeper. This interpretation, however, cannot be maintained. Jephthah's mother is called a "strange woman" (Judg. 11:2). This, however, merely denotes that she was of foreign extraction. In the time of Solomon harlots appeared openly in the streets, and he solemnly warns against association with them (Prov. 7:12; 9:14. See also Jer. 3:2; Ezek. 16:24, 25, 31). The Revised Version, following the LXX., has "and the harlots washed," etc., instead of the rendering of the Authorized Version, "now they washed," of 1 Kings 22:38. To commit fornication is metaphorically used for to practice idolatry (Jer. 3:1; Ezek. 16:15; Hos. throughout); hence Jerusalem is spoken of as a harlot (Isa. 1:21). (2.) Heb. nokriyah, the "strange woman" (1 Kings 11:1; Prov. 5:20; 7:5; 23:27). Those so designated were Canaanites and other Gentiles (Josh. 23:13). To the same class belonged the "foolish", i.e., the sinful, "woman." In the New Testament the Greek pornai, plural, "harlots," occurs in Matt. 21:31,32, where they are classed with publicans; Luke 15:30; 1 Cor. 6:15,16; Heb. 11:31; James 2:25. It is used symbolically in Rev. 17:1, 5, 15, 16; 19:2.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Charlotte of course rhymes with harlot.
Elaine Kudo should be singled out for her vibrancy as the ballet's main harlot.
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