con·​cu·​bine ˈkäŋ-kyu̇-ˌbīn How to pronounce concubine (audio)
: a woman with whom a man cohabits without being married: such as
: one having a recognized social status in a household below that of a wife

Example Sentences

the offspring of one of the monarch's concubines
Recent Examples on the Web Bunny harbors the transactional secret behind conjugal excess enjoyed by an unconscious concubine. Armond White, National Review, 28 Sep. 2022 Annette Gordon-Reed’s two books on Jefferson and his black slave and concubine Sally Hemings and their children comprise excellent historical revision. ... M. D. Aeschliman, National Review, 4 Sep. 2022 Trixie’s bold move backfires thanks to Seth, who (in a moment of petty, surly retribution over being kicked out of his own store by the lovebirds) tells Al that his concubine has been visiting Sol. Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture, 23 Dec. 2021 Or maybe the porcupine knows about the skunk and the concubine and just doesn’t care? Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, 14 Dec. 2021 So when the Arabian princess Hind (Hart) refuses to become Kisra’s concubine, the stage is set for an epic confrontation. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 15 Nov. 2021 For Ferguson the masks, veils, and bejeweled finery that Jessica wears during the film’s first half illustrate her position as a concubine, not a noble. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 27 Oct. 2021 Ferguson even compares her character in Dune, concubine Lady Jessica, to her star-marking turn as Elizabeth Woodville in The White Queen, noting the ways in which women wield power through alliances and behind doors dealing. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 21 Oct. 2021 Duke Leto’s official concubine, a wife in all but title, and mother of his only son. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, 20 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near concubine

Cite this Entry

“Concubine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



con·​cu·​bine ˈkäŋ-kyu̇-ˌbīn How to pronounce concubine (audio)
: a woman who lives with a man and among some peoples has a legally recognized position in his household less than that of a wife

More from Merriam-Webster on concubine

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