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Word of the Day
Wednesday, October 18, 2000

Definitions for purdah

  1. A curtain, screen, or veil shielding women from the sight of men or strangers in Hindu and Muslim communities.
  2. A striped cotton cloth from which a curtain is made, often blue and white.
  3. The system of secluding Hindu or Muslim women.

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Citations for purdah
Like many girls in northern India she had been raised in purdah, tutored in the seclusion of the women's quarters by a succession of women, including a Scottish governess. Gita Mehta, Snakes and Ladders: Glimpses of Modern India
The big evolution is that when trousers are low cut, shirts and, rather curiously, jackets are tucked into them. The belly button has finally gone into purdah, so it wasn't all bad news last week. Sinead Lynch, Times (London)
Origin of purdah
1790-1800
Purdah is from Urdu, from Persian pardah, curtain, veil.