con·​cu·​bine | \ ˈkäŋ-kyu̇-ˌbīn How to pronounce concubine (audio) , ˈkän-, -kyü- \

Definition of concubine

: a woman with whom a man cohabits without being married: such as
a : one having a recognized social status in a household below that of a wife

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Synonyms for concubine


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Examples of concubine in a Sentence

spent an exorbitant sum on furnishing living quarters for his concubine
Recent Examples on the Web Another focused on the wicked King Noah who drank wine and flirted with concubines from beneath an elaborate hat. New York Times, "Lights. Camera. Prayer. A Mini-Hollywood Grows in Utah.," 13 Oct. 2019 Mbande, who openly doted on Kengela as his favourite concubine, was immediately smitten with his newest child. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Njinga," 4 Oct. 2019 His official concubine, a former nurse, was promoted to major-general this year. The Economist, "Relations between Thailand’s army and king are becoming one-sided," 5 Sep. 2019 Vajiralongkorn, also known as King Rama X, named Sineenatra the new Royal Noble Consort, the official title for the chief concubine, earlier this month, making her the first official mistress of the king since 1921. Fox News, "Thailand releases rare pictures of king and official mistress, causing royal website to crash," 27 Aug. 2019 Henry, for his part, relishes Eve like a concubine while his wife writes poetry downstairs. Pete Tosiello, Washington Post, "Karen Dukess’s ‘The Last Book Party’ is a postcard from another era," 10 July 2019 Her mother was the sixth concubine to a wealthy businessman who abandoned them and her younger brother when Wu was a child. Quanta Magazine, "Three Major Physics Discoveries and Counting," 18 July 2018 Royal gardens, peeling frescoes, and tiled mosaics are breathtaking in their beauty, but the zenith of any visit is a wander through the sultan’s harem, once home to hundreds of concubines and their eunuch guards. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Three Days In Istanbul," 28 Dec. 2018 The story is about a concubine of Grenada’s royal court, Fatima, and her friend Hassan, the court’s cartographer. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "All the science fiction and fantasy books we’re looking forward to in 2019," 30 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'concubine.' 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 concubine

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for concubine

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin concubina, from com- + cubare to lie

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Time Traveler for concubine

Time Traveler

The first known use of concubine was in the 14th century

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Statistics for concubine

Last Updated

6 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Concubine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for concubine


How to pronounce concubine (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of concubine

: an unmarried woman who has sex with a man and lives with the man and his wife or wives

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More from Merriam-Webster on concubine

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for concubine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with concubine

Britannica English: Translation of concubine for Arabic Speakers

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