broth·el | \ ˈbrä-thəl , ˈbrȯ- also -t͟həl \

Definition of brothel 

Examples of brothel in a Sentence

the district is infamous for its brothels and drug dealers

Recent Examples on the Web

Lopez was among the most ruthless in his treatment of the women who worked at the brothel, witnesses said. Gabrielle Banks, Houston Chronicle, "Fugitive accused of being pimp for Houston gang brothels in federal custody," 13 Apr. 2018 Authorities have seized records from only a fraction of the area’s hundreds of brothels and illicit massage parlors. Nina Burleigh, Newsweek, "Tech Bros Bought Sex Trafficking Victims by Using Amazon and Microsoft Work Emails," 21 Dec. 2017 Almost 140 men, including a Houston police officer, were arrested during a 10-day sting at former massage parlor turned brothel that was taken over earlier this month by the Houston Police Department, officials announced Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Michela Garcia, Houston Chronicle, "3 arrested in 'bank jugging' sting near Katy," 1 June 2018 Strong stomachs are strongly recommended. Streaming: The provocative original series tells the story of brothel owner Margaret Wells and her struggles raising daughters in 18th century England. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "On TV This Week: All the Top Shows and Movies You Need to Catch," 7 July 2018 But after a tip-off from a brothel owner, an investigation led to the arrest of Iyamu last August. Paula Rogo,, "'Voodoo Nurse' Sentenced For Sex Trafficking Vulnerable Nigerian Women," 5 July 2018 Nevada is the only place in the U.S. where brothels can operate legally. David Montero,, "Effort to close brothels in one Nevada county fails to get enough signatures for ballot," 3 July 2018 Most brothels operate in rural areas of Nevada but are banned in the counties that contain Las Vegas and Reno. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Nevada pimp ousts three-term lawmaker in Republican primaries," 13 June 2018 The countries are allies in efforts to denuclearize North Korea but have clashed in recent years over the treatment of Korean women forced to work in Tokyo’s military brothels in World War II. Miho Inada, WSJ, "Strawberry Jam: Athletes Get Stuck in International Food Fight," 15 Mar. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about brothel

Dictionary Entries near brothel








Statistics for brothel

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brothel

The first known use of brothel was in 1566

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for brothel



English Language Learners Definition of brothel

: a building in which prostitutes are available

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on brothel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brothel

Spanish Central: Translation of brothel Encyclopedia article about brothel

Comments on brothel

What made you want to look up brothel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!