• synonyms


or o·da·lisk

  1. a female slave or concubine in a harem, especially in that of the sultan of Turkey.
  2. (initial capital letter) any of a number of representations of such a woman or of a similar subject, as by Ingres or Matisse.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for odalisk

Historical Examples of odalisk

  • The odalisk followed every movement of the young hero with burning eyes.

    The Slaves of the Padishah

    Mr Jkai

  • The odalisk, laughing loudly, flung herself on Hassan's neck.

  • "Hamaliel hath brought me evil dreams," returns the odalisk.

  • The odalisk looked into his face and could read there everything which had happened.

  • And with these words he whisked away the veil from the head of the odalisk.

British Dictionary definitions for odalisk



  1. a female slave or concubine
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Word Origin for odalisque

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

Word Origin and History for odalisk



"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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper