Definition of harem noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈhɑːriːm//
    , BrE//ˈhɑːrəm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhærəm//
    Groups of animals
    jump to other results
  1. 1the women or wives belonging to a rich man, especially in some Muslim societies in the past
  2. 2the separate part of a traditional Muslim house where the women live
  3. 3(specialist) a group of female animals that share the same male for reproducing See related entries: Groups of animals
  4. Word Originmid 17th cent. (in sense (2)): from Arabic ḥaram, ḥarīm, literally ‘prohibited, prohibited place’ (hence ‘sanctuary, women's quarters, women’), from ḥarama ‘be prohibited’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: harem