magdalen

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about magdalen

Time Traveler for magdalen

Time Traveler

The first known use of magdalen was in 1563

See more words from the same year

Statistics for magdalen

Cite this Entry

“Magdalen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/magdalen. Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

Comments on magdalen

What made you want to look up magdalen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!