seraglio(redirected from the Seraglio)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
n. pl. se·ra·glios
1. A large harem.
2. A sultan's palace. Also called serai.
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]
har•em(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]
Seragliothe 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.