magdalen

noun, often capitalized
mag·​da·​len | \ ˈmag-də-lən How to pronounce magdalen (audio) \
variants: or magdalene \ ˈmag-​də-​ˌlēn How to pronounce magdalen (audio) \

Definition of magdalen

1 : a reformed prostitute
2 : a house of refuge or reformatory for prostitutes

First Known Use of magdalen

1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for magdalen

Mary Magdalen or Magdalene woman healed by Jesus of evil spirits (Luke 8:2), considered identical with a reformed prostitute (Luke 7:36–50)

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The first known use of magdalen was in 1563

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Cite this Entry

“Magdalen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/magdalen. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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