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purdah

[pur-duh] /ˈpɜr də/
noun, (in India, Pakistan, etc.)
1.
the seclusion of women from the sight of men or strangers, practiced by some Muslims and Hindus.
2.
a screen, curtain, or veil used for this purpose.
Also, purda, pardah.
Origin
1790-1800
1790-1800; < Hindi, Urdu pardah curtain < Persian
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for purdah
  • He spent several months in purdah, putting together a cabinet.
British Dictionary definitions for purdah

purdah

/ˈpɜːdə/
noun
1.
the custom in some Muslim and Hindu communities of keeping women in seclusion, with clothing that conceals them completely when they go out
2.
a screen in a Hindu house used to keep the women out of view
3.
a veil worn by Hindu women of high caste
4.
(informal) hiding or isolation the Treasury is currently locked in pre-budget purdah
Word Origin
C19: from Hindi parda veil, from Persian pardah
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 purdah
n.

1800, from Urdu and Persian pardah "veil, curtain," from Old Persian pari "around, over" (from PIE *per- (1); see per-) + da- "to place", from PIE *dhe- "to set, put" (see factitious).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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