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 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

In 1683, thick ice on London’s River Thames bore coaches, sled races, shopping stalls and a few brothels. Jeffrey Collins, WSJ, "‘Nature’s Mutiny’ Review: Tracking History’s Turbulence," 1 Mar. 2019 The cringing media cataloged his succession of offenses, from egging a neighbor’s house to urinating in a mop bucket, from turning up in a Brazilian brothel to catching a DUI charge after drag-racing his Lamborghini in Miami Beach. Rob Haskell, Vogue, "Justin and Hailey Bieber Open Up About Their Passionate, Not-Always-Easy but Absolutely All-In Romance," 7 Feb. 2019 One of the site’s first big scoops was of former NBA star and ex-husband of Khloe Kardashian, Lamar Odom, overdosing at a brothel back in 2015. Kara Brown, Marie Claire, "Our Lady of Shade," 1 Mar. 2019 The singer peed in a bucket at a restaurant, tried to illegally bring his pet monkey into Europe (it was detained at the airport because Justin didn't have the proper paperwork), and he was caught visiting a brothel in Brazil. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Wait, Justin Bieber Visited A Brothel In Brazil When He Was Just 19-Years-Old?!," 7 Feb. 2019 Phoebe Baker, who steps in to help the team investigate brothels. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Former 'Blue Bloods' and 'NCIS' Star Jennifer Esposito Is Joining 'Law & Order: SVU'," 24 Jan. 2019 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 Today, there are about 20 brothels operating in the state, mostly in rural areas., "Brothel bans weighed in Nevada as legal pimp runs for office," 11 June 2018 Today, there are about 20 brothels operating in the state, mostly in rural areas. NBC News, "Nevada weighs brothel bans as legal pimp Dennis Hof runs for office," 11 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

6 Jun 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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Spanish Central: Translation of brothel Encyclopedia article about brothel

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