concubine

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Origin: 1250–1300; Middle English, from Anglo-Norman, from Latin concubīna, equivalent to concub- (variant stem of concumbō (to lie together)) + feminine suffix -īna.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

concubine (plural concubines)

  1. A sexual partner, especially a woman, to whom one is not or cannot be married.
  2. A woman who lives with a man, but who is not a wife.
    • 1591, William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part III, Act III, sc. 2:
      And that is more than I will yield unto:
      I know I am too mean to be your queen,
      And yet too good to be your concubine.
  3. (chiefly historical) A slave-girl or woman, kept for instance in a harem, who is held for sexual service.
    • 1611, King James Version, Judges 20:4–6:
      And the Levite, the husband of the woman that was slain, answered and said, I came into Gibeah that belongeth to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge. And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and beset the house round about upon me by night, and thought to have slain me: and my concubine have they forced, that she is dead. And I took my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel: for they have committed lewdness and folly in Israel.
    • ca.1909, Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth, Letter VIII:
      Solomon, who was one of the Deity's favorities, had a copulation cabinet composed of seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Random House Unabridged Dictionary

Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

concubine f (plural concubines or concubinen)

  1. concubine
    Synonyms: bijvrouw, bijwijf, bijzit, bijzitster

French[edit]

Noun[edit]

concubine f (plural concubines, masculine concubin)

  1. cohabitant (female)
  2. concubine

Italian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

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Noun[edit]

concubine f

  1. plural of concubina

Latin[edit]

Noun[edit]

concubīne

  1. vocative singular of concubīnus