or pur·da, par·dah
- the seclusion of women from the sight of men or strangers, practiced by some Muslims and Hindus.
- a screen, curtain, or veil used for this purpose.
Origin of purdah
1790–1800; < Hindi, Urdu pardah curtain < Persian
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Wordskerchief, mantle, veil, shawl, bonnet, protector, hat, wimple, purdah, cowl, yashmak, babushka, mantilla, coif, capuchin, seraglio, capuche, serai, zenana
Examples from the Web for purdah
At the end of the room was a purdah or curtain, and behind it people were talking.Wanderings in India
He had not been backward, however, in awakening his grandfather to purdah manœuvres.Far to Seek
Anybody would think, to listen to some people, that the purdah flourished in Chelsea.The Roll-Call
The purdah rustled, and the speech was cut short by the entry of a little, thin woman with big rings round her eyes.The Works of Rudyard Kipling: One Volume Edition
A male doctor attending a zenana lady would put his hand between the purdah to feel her pulse.
- the custom in some Muslim and Hindu communities of keeping women in seclusion, with clothing that conceals them completely when they go out
- a screen in a Hindu house used to keep the women out of view
- a veil worn by Hindu women of high caste
- informal hiding or isolationthe Treasury is currently locked in pre-budget purdah
C19: from Hindi parda veil, from Persian pardah
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 purdah
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper