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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 ?
In the highly mobile 21st century, the principal accessory featured is the shoe, as represented by Christian Louboutin, with impossibly high heels and shapes that would torture a Greek hetaera, a Russian ballerina or a Venetian streetwalker.
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.
More pertinent to Levy, Grote observes that Socrates "visited all persons of interest in the city, male or female: his friendship with Aspasia is well known, and one of the most interesting chapters of Xenophon's Memorabilia recounts his visit to, and dialogue with Theodote--a beautiful Hetaera or Female Companion.
As this quote illustrates, the Goncourts extol the ancient hetaera, opposing the selfless and generous love of the courtesan with the crude egoism of the lorette in order to further scar the modern prostitute's reputation.
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.
Strikingly, the Athenian hetaera seems to have had an influence in controlling the production and the reception of her self-fashioned images (210).
The dangers of pleasure are portrayed in comedy in the figures of the chef, parasite and hetaera (197-98).
Invalidating the equation of decadence and crisis, Rops embodies decadent pleasure by luxuriating in transience: "co 'I suo bulino illustra i baci e le carezze, mirabilmente" (37) [with his burin he represents kisses and caresses, wonderfully] while a crucified hetaera announces that "I tempi sono prossimi" (37) [the end is approaching].
The oblate, who was the talk of Adjame-Santey, looked like a hetaera.
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.
The roles in such poetry were sharply defined: "the unwavering devotion of an upright, poetically talented, young upper-class Roman stands over against the infidelity of a hetaera [courtesan];" because of her inconstancy, the male amator suffers for his love.