[ hi-teer-uh ]
/ hɪˈtɪər ə /

noun, plural he·tae·rae [hi-teer-ee] /hɪˈtɪər i/.

a highly cultured courtesan or concubine, especially in ancient Greece.
any woman who uses her beauty and charm to obtain wealth or social position.
Also hetaira.

Origin of hetaera

First recorded in 1810–20, hetaera is from the Greek word hetaíra (feminine) companion


he·tae·ric, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for hetaera

  • She adopted the hetaera life, and was the "companion" of Stilpo himself.

    Greek Women|Mitchell Carroll
  • The Thais of that play is the most favourable delineation of the Athenian 'Hetaera' in ancient literature.

    The Roman Poets of the Republic|William Young Sellar
  • The concubine has the status of a hetaera; she travels with the man, keeps his accounts, etc.

British Dictionary definitions for hetaera


hetaira (hɪˈtaɪrə)

/ (hɪˈtɪərə) /

noun plural -taerae (-ˈtɪəriː) or -tairai (-ˈtaɪraɪ)

(esp in ancient Greece) a female prostitute, esp an educated courtesan

Derived forms of hetaera

hetaeric or hetairic, adjective

Word Origin for hetaera

C19: from Greek hetaira concubine
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