• synonyms


[hi-teer-iz-uh m]
  1. concubinage.
  2. a social system in which the women are considered common property.
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Also he·tai·rism [hi-tahyuh r-iz-uh m] /hɪˈtaɪər ɪz əm/.

Origin of hetaerism

First recorded in 1855–60; hetaer(a) + -ism
Related formshe·tae·rist, nounhet·ae·ris·tic [het-uh-ris-tik] /ˌhɛt əˈrɪs tɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hetaerism

Historical Examples

  • By the side of the husband, who is making his life pleasant by hetaerism, stands the neglected wife.

    The Origin of the Family Private Property and the State

    Frederick Engels

  • Consequently the eternal companions of monogamy, hetaerism and adultery, play an almost insignificant role here.

British Dictionary definitions for hetaerism


hetairism (hɪˈtaɪrɪzəm)

  1. the state of being a concubine
  2. sociol anthropol a social system attributed to some primitive societies, in which women are communally shared
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Derived Formshetaerist or hetairist, nounhetaeristic or hetairistic, adjective
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