oda·​lisque | \ ˈō-də-ˌlisk How to pronounce odalisque (audio) \
plural odalisques

Definition of odalisque

1 : an enslaved woman
2 : a concubine in a harem

Examples of odalisque in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Displayed as a conventional odalisque — a reclining nude — in an unexpectedly static five-minute video shot. Christopher Knightart Critic, Los Angeles Times, 18 July 2022 Baker figures elsewhere as a cheerful odalisque, eloquently emulating a motif from Matisse. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 28 Feb. 2022 Each includes a reclining odalisque, two seated women around a hookah, and a female Black servant. Lance Esplund, WSJ, 2 July 2021 The odalisque is a forensic image that details the violence to which the black female body can be subjected. Longreads, 20 July 2019 Henry Moore wanted timeless nature to be seen through the signature holes in his monumental, semi-abstract odalisques, but in Lucas’ sculptures enduring culture is what gets glimpsed. Los Angeles Times, 17 July 2019 His boys are coy, knowing, and lithe; the male odalisque, in a state of opulent undress, is a favorite leitmotif. Christopher Alessandrini, The New York Review of Books, 18 May 2019 Vicky may initially present herself as mere odalisque to be molded and shaped by the Great Man. Ann Hornaday, miamiherald, 17 Jan. 2018 The odalisque, an image of a reclining nude, conjoins two distinct categories of the commodity: the slave and the prostitute. Longreads, 20 July 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'odalisque.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of odalisque

circa 1681, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for odalisque

French, from Turkish odalık, from oda room

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The first known use of odalisque was circa 1681

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Odalisque.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/odalisque. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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