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or odalisk

[ohd-l-isk] /ˈoʊd l ɪsk/
a female slave or concubine in a harem, especially in that of the sultan of Turkey.
(initial capital letter) any of a number of representations of such a woman or of a similar subject, as by Ingres or Matisse.
Origin of odalisque
1675-85; < French, alteration of earlier odalique (with -s- perhaps from -esque -esque) < Turkish odalιk concubine, equivalent to oda room + -lιk noun suffix of appurtenance Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for odalisk
Historical Examples
  • Hassan saw neither the tree nor the bird, but he pretended he did, and agreed with the odalisk.

  • "Hamaliel hath brought me evil dreams," returns the odalisk.

  • The odalisk sighed softly, and leant her head against the mossy tree trunk.

  • I unveil this odalisk, I proclaim what she can do, to what use she can be put.

  • The odalisk looked into his face and could read there everything which had happened.

  • And with these words he whisked away the veil from the head of the odalisk.

  • Broken in mind and body, the odalisk dragged herself to his knees, and seizing his hand drew it to her breast and to her lips.

  • The odalisk appears like a rosy water-nymph swinging on a bright lotus-leaf over a fountain of liquid rubies.

  • The odalisk lay back upon the bed, while Yffim anxiously paced to and fro like a hyena fallen into a snare.

  • And the odalisk said the words in such an agony of despair that the eunuch was quite touched by it.

British Dictionary definitions for odalisk


a female slave or concubine
Word Origin
C17: via French, changed from Turkish ōdalik, from ōdah room + -lik n suffix
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for odalisk



"female slave in a harem," 1680s, from French odalisque (1660s), from Turkish odaliq "maidservant," from odah "room in a harem," literally "chamber, hall," + -liq, suffix expressing function. In French, the suffix was confused with Greek -isk(os) "of the nature of, belonging to."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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