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 (sə-răl′yō, -räl′-)
n. pl. se·ra·glios
1. A large harem.
2. A sultan's palace. Also called serai.

[Italian serraglio, enclosure, seraglio, probably partly from Vulgar Latin *serraculum, enclosure (from *serrāre, to lace up, from Latin serāre, from sera, door-bar) and partly from Turkish saray, palace (from Persian sarāy, inn; see terə- in Indo-European roots).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(sɛˈrɑːlɪˌəʊ) or


n, pl -raglios or -rails
1. (Islam) the harem of a Muslim house or palace
2. (Islam) a sultan's palace, esp in the former Turkish empire
3. (Islam) the wives and concubines of a Muslim
[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 and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈhɛər əm, ˈhær-)

1. the part of a Muslim palace or house reserved for the residence of women.
2. the women in a Muslim household, including the mothers, sisters, wives, concubines, daughters, entertainers, and servants.
3. a social group of female animals, as elephant seals, accompanied by a reproductive male who denies other males access to the group.
[1625–35; < Arabic ḥarīm harem, literally, forbidden]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


 the inmates of a harem, 1634; a house of women kept for debauchery—Johnson, 1755.
Examples: seraglio of the godly (i.e., a nunnery), 1672; of flattering lusts, 1711; of maids of honour, 1860; a cock and a seraglio of seven hens, 1773.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.seraglio - living quarters reserved for wives and concubines and female relatives in a Muslim householdseraglio - living quarters reserved for wives and concubines and female relatives in a Muslim household
living quarters, quarters - housing available for people to live in; "he found quarters for his family"; "I visited his bachelor quarters"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[seˈrɑːlɪəʊ] Nserallo m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


nSerail nt
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in periodicals archive ?
Leslie Peirce is well-known for the ground-breaking work she has done on the institution of the Ottoman harem and on gender, identity, and law in the provincial capitals of the Ottoman Empire.
These men were bought as boys in Ethiopia, the farthest geographic and social periphery of the empire, castrated in rural Egypt, and then sold to the Ottoman harem to serve as gatekeepers.
Of course it helped that the Ottoman harem has always excited lurid fantasy so that the idea of an expat harem was bound to be an eye-catcher.
Rethinking Orientalism: Women, Travel and the Ottoman Harem. London.