Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[hahr-luh m] /ˈhɑr ləm/
a section of New York City, in the NE part of Manhattan.
a tidal river in New York City, between the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx, which, with Spuyten Duyvil Creek, connects the Hudson and East rivers. 8 miles (13 km) long. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for Harlem
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Never nearer than Harlem Heights, where he lay with his regiment.

    The Contrast Royall Tyler
  • It was as if a dweller in a Harlem flat had been presented with a hippopotamus.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Then we moved to Harlem and I rented this place for the summer.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • Yet in Harlem there was a broken old man who would not like it.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • No longer on the heights, she was in a trivial room in Harlem.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
British Dictionary definitions for Harlem


a district of New York City, in NE Manhattan: now largely a Black ghetto
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for Harlem

Manhattan district, used figuratively for "African-American culture" from 1934. The N.Y. community was founded 1658 and originally named Nieuw Haarlem for Haarlem in Netherlands, which probably is from Dutch haar "height" + lem "silt," in reference to its position on a slight elevation on the banks of the Spaarne River.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Harlem in Culture

Harlem definition

Neighborhood of Manhattan.

Note: Mostly populated by African-Americans, Harlem has long been a center of black culture.
Note: During the 1920s, Harlem was the site of a great upsurge in black literature, music, and theater known as the Harlem Renaissance.
Note: The area now contains a large Puerto Rican population and, after a period of economic decay, has experienced a revitalization.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for harlem

Word Value for Harlem

Scrabble Words With Friends