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[hoo r-ee, houuh r-ee, hou-uh-ree] /ˈhʊər i, ˈhaʊər i, ˈhaʊ ə ri/
noun, plural houris.
one of the beautiful virgins provided in paradise for all faithful Muslims.
Origin of houri
1730-40; < French < Persian hūrī < Arabic ḥūr plural of ḥaurāʾ gazelle-eyed (woman) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for houri
Historical Examples
  • It was very like sitting in a bath, and, after the houri, we had to be carried a long way.

    Southern Arabia Theodore Bent
  • I am to pay her—imagine making a pecuniary arrangement with an houri!

    A New Sensation Albert Ross
  • Who nightly turns the dwelling of horror into Mahomet's paradise with this houri.


    E. (Eliza) Fenwick
  • He married this houri and she bore a daughter called Paramisuli.

  • To her Morgiana was fury, houri, and angel all in one moment.

    God Wills It! William Stearns Davis
  • As you have said,—a hundred purses for such an houri of the Franks.

    God Wills It! William Stearns Davis
  • This houri, comes she here from the clouds or from Aleppo, is mine.

    God Wills It! William Stearns Davis
  • She knew that soldiers were pointing at her, and passing the word "Look—a houri!"

    God Wills It! William Stearns Davis
  • Her features combined the witchery of a houri with the strength of intellect.

    The Goddess of Atvatabar William R. Bradshaw
  • As we walked home "i' the grey o' the morning," I asked Fane who his "houri" was.

British Dictionary definitions for houri


noun (pl) -ris
(in Muslim belief) any of the nymphs of Paradise
any alluring woman
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Persian hūri, from Arabic hūr, plural of haurā' woman with dark eyes
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 houri

"nymph of Muslim paradise," 1737, from French houri (1650s), from Persian huri "nymph in Paradise," from Arabic haura "to be beautifully dark-eyed," like a gazelle + -i, Persian formative element denoting the singular.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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