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or odalisk

[ohd-l-isk] /ˈoʊd l ɪsk/
a female slave or concubine in a harem, especially in that of the sultan of Turkey.
(initial capital letter) any of a number of representations of such a woman or of a similar subject, as by Ingres or Matisse.
Origin of odalisque
1675-85; < French, alteration of earlier odalique (with -s- perhaps from -esque -esque) < Turkish odalιk concubine, equivalent to oda room + -lιk noun suffix of appurtenance Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for odalisque
Historical Examples
  • The odalisque arrived last night, and I am in a great quandary.

  • This had been begun forty years before, at the time of the early “Bathers” and “odalisque.”

    Ingres A. J. Finberg
  • An odalisque in the seraglio can love the Sultan with all her might.

  • Sickly perfumes, as from the fan of an odalisque, swept over them.

    The Drunkard

    Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • Underneath the picture was printed the title, "The odalisque."

    Song of the Lark Willa Cather
  • To his surprise he found that it was not there; the odalisque had taken it.

  • The odalisque had anchored in the bay late on the previous night.

    Barren Honour: A Novel George A. Lawrence
  • The odalisque had vanished in this chill and matter-of-fact housewife.

    The Price of Love

    Arnold Bennett
  • I always thought a pagoda was a sort of odalisque—isn't that right?

    Austin and His Friends

    Frederic H. Balfour
  • I have dreamed that I was an odalisque, dear—after smoking, you know.

    Dope Sax Rohmer
British Dictionary definitions for odalisque


a female slave or concubine
Word Origin
C17: via French, changed from Turkish ōdalik, from ōdah room + -lik n suffix
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 odalisque

"female slave in a harem," 1680s, from French odalisque (1660s), from Turkish odaliq "maidservant," from odah "room in a harem," literally "chamber, hall," + -liq, suffix expressing function. In French, the suffix was confused with Greek -isk(os) "of the nature of, belonging to."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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