- the part of a Muslim house or palace in which the wives and concubines are secluded; harem.
- a Turkish palace, especially of the sultan.
Origin of seraglio
Examples from the Web for seraglio
The Pacha had sent his subordinate with a guard to transfer him to the Seraglio.Dreamers of the Ghetto
He led the way until they came to a gallery that overlooked the seraglio.
What cry was that which startles the seraglio from its siesta?
You have turned your house into a seraglio, as birds are kept in a cage.
Woman was no longer the captive of the seraglio, nor the chronicler of small beer.Hopes and Fears
Charlotte M. Yonge
serail (səˈraɪ, -ˈraɪl, -ˈreɪl)
- the harem of a Muslim house or palace
- a sultan's palace, esp in the former Turkish empire
- the wives and concubines of a Muslim
Word Origin and History for seraglio
"harem," also the name of a former palace of the sultan in Istanbul, 1580s, from Italian seraglio, alteration of Turkish saray "palace, court," from Persian sara'i "palace, inn," from Iranian base *thraya- "to protect" (cf. Avestan thrayeinti "they protect"), from PIE *tra-, variant form of root *tere- "to cross over, pass through, overcome" (see through).
The Italian word probably reflects folk etymology influence of serraglio "enclosure, cage," from Medieval Latin serraculum "bung, stopper" (see serried).