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 (hĭ-tîr′ə) also he·tai·ra (-tīr′ə)
n. pl. he·tae·rae (-tîr′ē) or he·tae·ras also he·tai·rai (-tīr′ī′) or he·tai·ras
An ancient Greek courtesan or concubine, especially one who was highly educated or refined.

[Greek hetairā, feminine of hetairos, companion; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots.]

he·tae′ric adj.


(hɪˈtɪərə) or


n, pl -taerae (-ˈtɪəriː) or -tairai (-ˈtaɪraɪ)
(Historical Terms) (esp in ancient Greece) a female prostitute, esp an educated courtesan
[C19: from Greek hetaira concubine]
heˈtaeric, heˈtairic adj


(hɪˈtɪər ə)

n., pl. -tae•rae (-ˈtɪər i)
1. a highly cultured courtesan or concubine, esp. in ancient Greece.
[1810–20; < Greek hetaíra (feminine) companion]


a female companion or paramour of ancient Greece, a sort of professional prostitute.
See also: Greece and Greeks


n pl <-rae or -ras> → Hetäre f
References in periodicals archive ?
And a woman with a hetaera (courtesan) mask, playing the aulos (a reed instrument) is accompanied by an assistant, an unmasked boy on the left.
In the case of Doktor Faustus, Mann's main character, Adrian Leverkiihn, a musician whose father had belonged to the tradition of Central European Naturphilosophie, embarks on an affair with the archetype of the Hetaera Esmeralda, a transparent butterfly that loves shadowy realms and is symbolic of an impure, albeit diabolically tempting Philosopher's Stoney Leverkuhn finds his alchemical equivalent in the world of tones--music.
The dangers of pleasure are portrayed in comedy in the figures of the chef, parasite and hetaera (197-98).
The figures who desire or are desired constitute a rich ancient taxonomy, including, among others, the erastes (an older male lover); the eromenos (his willing but not passionate younger male beloved); the kinaidos (typically the male who perversely desires to be sexually penetrated "like a woman"); the gunaikes (citizen-wives), hetaera (courtesans) and pornae (common prostitutes); and the tribades (females who perversely perform sexual acts on other women "like a man").
Consequently, his descriptions transmit the exquisite decadence of the milieu: the Dionysian soirees held in caves on the outskirts of Athens by members of the Lykaion cult who became purely instinctual beings with the help of a hallucinogen known as kyon; Heracles Pontor's encounter with the hetaera Yasintra and his incongruous relationship with Ponsica, his female slave, who wanted more than anything else to stick a dagger into his fleshy neck when it became apparent that he was coming too close to solving the murders of three ephebes from the academy.