houri

houri

[hoor-ee, houuhr-ee, hou-uh-ree]
noun, plural houris.
one of the beautiful virgins provided in paradise for all faithful Muslims.

Origin:
1730–40; < French < Persian hūrī < Arabic ḥūr plural of ḥaurāʾ gazelle-eyed (woman)

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World English Dictionary
houri (ˈhʊərɪ)
 
n , pl -ris
1.  (in Muslim belief) any of the nymphs of Paradise
2.  any alluring woman
 
[C18: from French, from Persian hūri, from Arabic hūr, plural of haurā' woman with dark eyes]

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

houri
"nymph of Muslim paradise," 1737, from Fr. houri (1654), from Pers. huri "nymph in Paradise," from Ar. haura "to be beautifully dark-eyed," like a gazelle.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

houri

in Islam, a beautiful maiden who awaits the devout Muslim in paradise. The Arabic word hawra' signifies the contrast of the clear white of the eye to the blackness of the iris. There are numerous references to the houri in the Qur'an describing them as "purified wives" and "spotless virgins." Tradition elaborated on the sensual image of the houri and defined some of her functions; on entering paradise, for example, the believer is presented with a large number of houris, with each of whom he may cohabit once for each day he has fasted in Ramadan and once for each good work he has performed.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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