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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for houri
Historical Examples
  • She is a houri straight from Paradise, and we poor mortals just get a glimpse from beyond the gate, as it were.

    Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) William Delisle Hay
  • Who nightly turns the dwelling of horror into Mahomet's paradise with this houri.

    Secresy E. (Eliza) Fenwick
  • That houri appearing, shakes him up in the usual manner, and is charged by the old gentleman to remain near him.

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

    God Wills It! William Stearns Davis
  • The infidel will never cease roasting, whilst the true believer will be eternally seated next to his houri in the seventh heaven!

  • She knew that soldiers were pointing at her, and passing the word "Look—a houri!"

    God Wills It! William Stearns Davis
  • As we walked home "i' the grey o' the morning," I asked Fane who his "houri" was.

  • Her features combined the witchery of a houri with the strength of intellect.

    The Goddess of Atvatabar William R. Bradshaw
  • houri, a beautiful maiden who, according to the Mohammedan faith, awaits the advent of a pious Moslem in Paradise.

    The Nuttall Encyclopaedia Edited by Rev. James Wood
  • His talk was of a woman: an houri, if ever there was one, should his talk of her be believed.

    The Way of the Gods John Luther Long
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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