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houri

[hoo r-ee, houuh r-ee, hou-uh-ree] /ˈhʊər i, ˈhaʊər i, ˈhaʊ ə ri/
noun, plural houris.
1.
one of the beautiful virgins provided in paradise for all faithful Muslims.
Origin
1730-1740
1730-40; < French < Persian hūrī < Arabic ḥūr plural of ḥaurāʾ gazelle-eyed (woman)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for houri

houri

/ˈhʊərɪ/
noun (pl) -ris
1.
(in Muslim belief) any of the nymphs of Paradise
2.
any alluring woman
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Persian hūri, from Arabic hūr, plural of haurā' woman with dark eyes
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for houri
n.

"nymph of Muslim paradise," 1737, from French houri (1650s), from Persian huri "nymph in Paradise," from Arabic haura "to be beautifully dark-eyed," like a gazelle + -i, Persian formative element denoting the singular.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for 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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