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 (hī′ər-ə-do͞ol′, -dyo͞ol′)
A slave serving in an ancient temple, as in Greece or Anatolia, in the service of a specific deity.

[Late Latin hierodūlus, from Greek hierodoulos : hieron, temple (from neuter of hieros, holy; see eis- in Indo-European roots) + doulos, slave.]

hi′er·o·du′lic (-do͞o′lĭk, -dyo͞o′-) adj.
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.


(Historical Terms) (in ancient Greece) a temple slave, esp a sacral prostitute
[C19: from Greek hierodoulos, from hiero- + doulos slave]
ˌhieroˈdulic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈhaɪ ər əˌdul, -ˌdyul, ˈhaɪ rə-)

(in the ancient world) a slave attached to the temple of a particular deity.
[1825–35; < Greek hieródoulos=hieró(n) temple + doúlos slave]
hi`er•o•du′lic, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Jews, according to Greenblatt, rejected some of the positive features of Gilgamesh, for example, the intense, loving brotherhood of Gilgamesh and Enkidu, and especially the joyous humanizing of Enkidu through the ministrations of the hierodule Shamhat.
When a seignior married a hierodule and she gave a female slave to her husband and she has then borne children, if later that female slave has claimed equality with her mistress because she bore children, her mistress may not sell her; she may mark her with the slave-mark and count her among the slaves (Code of Hammurabi, 18th century BCE, #146).
As I type these names, my computer underlines all of the names as spelling errors, suggesting, as examples, strange alternatives such as guerrillas, gastrulas and hierodules! This all results in a book that won't be adored by all who meet it, but, beyond doubt, many will be delighted by the linguistic tricks and the artistic inventions!
These numinous public dance appearances at weddings, circumcisions, funerals, and holiday celebrations are vestigial from earlier days of temple dancers and ritual hierodules. In the context of sacred bellydance, the dancer's sensual movements were imbued with meaning derived from stories of creation and fertility, goddesses or of human consorts to powerful and benevolent gods.