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[hahr-luh t] /ˈhɑr lət/
a prostitute; whore.
Origin of harlot
1175-1225; Middle English: young idler, rogue < Old French herlot, of obscure origin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for harlot


a prostitute or promiscuous woman
(archaic) of or like a harlot
Derived Forms
harlotry, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French herlot rascal, of obscure origin
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
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Word Origin and History for harlot

c.1200 (late 12c. in surnames), "vagabond, man of no fixed occupation, idle rogue," from Old French herlot, arlot "vagabond, tramp" (usually male in Middle English and Old French), with forms in Old Provençal (arlot), Old Spanish (arlote), and Italian (arlotto); of unknown origin. Used in both positive and pejorative senses by Chaucer; applied in Middle English to jesters, buffoons, jugglers, later to actors. Sense of "prostitute, unchaste woman" probably had developed by 14c., certainly by early 15c., but this was reinforced by use as euphemism for "strumpet, whore" in 16c. translations of the Bible. The word may be Germanic, with an original sense of "camp follower," if the first element is hari "army," as some suspect.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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