har·​lot | \ ˈhär-lət How to pronounce harlot (audio) \
plural harlots

Definition of harlot

old-fashioned, disparaging
: a person who has sex with someone in exchange for money : prostitute … the jewel-eyed harlots of his imagination …— James Joyce … the early-eighteenth-century world, where wigs don't stay on straight, clubmen fall over themselves in drunken stupors, and harlots make their way …— Sanford Schwartz … whose murdered body was covered with roses by a harlot who had loved him …— Oscar Wilde

Examples of harlot in a Sentence

the touristy port town little resembled the haven for thieves, cutthroats, and harlots it had once been
Recent Examples on the Web What also fascinated me is in many ways, the harlots had more agency than aristocratic women. Morena Duwe, Billboard, "Rael Jones Delivers Electronic Music to the 18th Century With His Score for Hulu's 'Harlots': Interview," 26 Aug. 2019 The three harlots are played tiresomely, without weight or seriousness. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "4 Buzzy ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Debuts, 1 Fainthearted Production," 15 June 2018 When Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky surfaced in 1998, conservatives attacked him as the symbol of a lost and immoral society, while liberals minimized his offenses and portrayed the young intern as a harlot. Laila Lalami, New York Times, "Does American ‘Tribalism’ End in a Compromise, or a Fight?," 26 June 2018 Gamblers, occultists, harlots, castrato singers, and masked revelers populated the galleries alongside beautifully crafted wall sconces, ball gowns, and porcelain tureens. Kimberly Chrisman-campbell, BostonGlobe.com, "When Casanova met #MeToo," 3 Mar. 2018 Carla Stewart captures the complexities of Shug Avery, the harlot with the heart of gold, in a robust performance, finding her own mix of tragedy and triumph, which motivates Celie to move toward her own freedom. Theodore P. Mahne, NOLA.com, "Saenger's essential revival of 'Color Purple' well worth revisiting," 21 Feb. 2018 She was branded as a harlot; Viacom and its subsidiaries stopped playing her songs and videos. Jack Dickey, SI.com, "When a Wardrobe Malfunction Was the Ultimate Malfeasance for the NFL and CBS," 2 Feb. 2018 If King were alive today, his magnificent oratory would call us to organize, to take back our country, to throw out of Congress and state legislatures the gigolos and harlots of the rich, and to tell corporate America that wealthfare is ended. The Rev. Tex Sample, kansascity, "MLK Day column: King would hate today's economic injustice | The Kansas City Star," 15 Jan. 2018 With harlots in fish-net stockings hanging on each arm, a self-satisfied grandee, shades and ascot in place, struts down a city sidewalk. Garry Trudeau, New York Times, "The Comic Strip’s Heyday in ‘Cartoon County’," 11 Dec. 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for harlot

Middle English, rogue, buffoon, female prostitute, from Anglo-French herlot beggar, vagabond

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Time Traveler for harlot

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The first known use of harlot was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Harlot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harlot. Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

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