broth·​el | \ ˈbrä-thəl How to pronounce brothel (audio) , ˈbrȯ- also -t͟həl How to pronounce brothel (audio) \
plural brothels

Definition of brothel

: a building in which prostitutes are available : bordello For recreation, there were bars, after-hours joints, pool halls, strip joints, brothels, and transient motels.— Darlene Nall Elizaveta is happy to become the madam of a high-class brothel.— Jonathan Fast In the brutal red-light district of Chicago, at the dawn of the 20th century, most brothels emphasized "efficiency instead of fantasy."— Ada Calhoun

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Examples of brothel in a Sentence

the district is infamous for its brothels and drug dealers

Recent Examples on the Web

For a time, in Odessa, Tex., the family lived in one half of a house; the other half was used as a brothel. Enid Nemy, New York Times, "Barbara Bush, Wife of 41st President and Mother of 43rd, Dies at 92," 17 Apr. 2018 About 20 brothels operate in Nevada, mostly in rural areas. Michelle L. Price, The Seattle Times, "Nevada legal pimp, candidate, star of HBO series found dead," 17 Oct. 2018 About 20 brothels operate in Nevada, mostly in rural areas. Fox News, "Dennis Hof, Nevada brothel owner, dead at 72," 16 Oct. 2018 Today, about 20 brothels operate in the state, mostly in rural areas. Time, "A Brothel Owner Is Running for Office in Nevada as a Republican," 11 June 2018 But its creators probably never intended for Alexa to become part of a brothel's full-time staff. Fox News, "Nevada brothel lets Amazon's Alexa turn you into a pornstar," 21 Aug. 2018 The then-19-year-old singer was seen leaving a Brazilian brothel with two women after spending more than three hours there. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Wait, Justin Bieber Visited A Brothel In Brazil When He Was Just 19-Years-Old?!," 7 Feb. 2019 There’s the off-camera rape of Fergus (again by Randall) at a brothel in Paris. Wendy Naugle, Glamour, "What Outlander Finally Gets Right About Rape This Season," 7 Jan. 2019 The play, about a 19th-century madam who ran a successful brothel in the area, had been researched and written by inmates at the Indiana Women's Prison. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "With Bryan Fonseca's new theater, the near west is growing into a major arts hub," 23 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brothel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of brothel

1566, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for brothel

Middle English, worthless fellow, prostitute, from brothen, past participle of brethen to waste away, go to ruin, from Old English brēothan to waste away; akin to Old English brēotan to break — more at brittle

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Last Updated

28 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for brothel

The first known use of brothel was in 1566

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English Language Learners Definition of brothel

: a building in which prostitutes are available

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an enemy or opponent

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