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seraglio

[si-ral-yoh, -rahl-] /sɪˈræl yoʊ, -ˈrɑl-/
noun, plural seraglios.
1.
the part of a Muslim house or palace in which the wives and concubines are secluded; harem.
2.
a Turkish palace, especially of the sultan.
Also called serail
[suh-rahy, -rahyl, -reyl] /səˈraɪ, -ˈraɪl, -ˈreɪl/ (Show IPA)
.
Origin
1575-1585
1575-85; < Italian serraglio < Persian sarāy palace; sense development in Italian perhaps influenced by serrare to lock up
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for seraglio

seraglio

/sɛˈrɑːlɪˌəʊ/
noun (pl) -raglios, -rails
1.
the harem of a Muslim house or palace
2.
a sultan's palace, esp in the former Turkish empire
3.
the wives and concubines of a Muslim
Word Origin
C16: from Italian serraglio animal cage, from Medieval Latin serrāculum bolt, from Latin sera a door bar; associated also with Turkish seray palace
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 seraglio
n.

"harem," also the name of a former palace of the sultan in Istanbul, 1580s, from Italian seraglio, alteration of Turkish saray "palace, court," from Persian sara'i "palace, inn," from Iranian base *thraya- "to protect" (cf. Avestan thrayeinti "they protect"), from PIE *tra-, variant form of root *tere- "to cross over, pass through, overcome" (see through).

The Italian word probably reflects folk etymology influence of serraglio "enclosure, cage," from Medieval Latin serraculum "bung, stopper" (see serried).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for seraglio

Seraglio

in Istanbul, collection of classical antiquities, manuscripts, ceramics, armour, textiles, and other artifacts, housed in the sultans' Seraglio (Topkapi Saray). It was established in 1892 and later extended

Learn more about Seraglio with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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