ot·​to·​man | \ˈä-tə-mən \

Definition of ottoman 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 capitalized

a : a member of a Turkish dynasty founded by Osman I that ruled the Ottoman Empire

b : a citizen or functionary of the Ottoman Empire

2 [ French ottomane, from feminine of ottoman, adjective ]

a : an upholstered often overstuffed seat or couch usually without a back

b : an overstuffed footstool

3 : a heavy clothing fabric characterized by pronounced crosswise ribs


Ot·​to·​man | \ˈä-tə-mən \

Definition of Ottoman (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to the Ottoman Empire or its citizens

Examples of ottoman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The custom sofa in a Zimmer + Rohde fabric is topped with pillows in a Borderline cotton paisley, the ottoman is covered in a J. Samuel wool, and the circa-1750 mirror is from R. Louis Bofferding Decorative & Fine Art. Nancy Hass, ELLE Decor, "Inside an Upper East Side Home that Trades Stuffiness for Neon-Hued Glamour," 21 May 2018 Another favorite item: The light pink ottoman that lives in her shoe closet, which is already impressive enough on its own. Rachel Swalin, ELLE Decor, "This Blogger's Walk-In Closet Is Fun And Feminine With A Touch Of Edge," 1 May 2017 Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West‘s daughter proved herself to be a pro at the classic game of hide-and-seek, stuffing herself into an ottoman to stay concealed. Stephanie Petit,, "Kim Kardashian West Shares a Hilarious Snap of 'Hide & Seek Champ' Daughter North," 9 Jan. 2018 The bed and ceiling light are vintage, the linens are by Frette and the ottoman is by Oly. Kelsey Kloss, ELLE Decor, "18 Creative And Chic Kids' Room Decorating Ideas," 6 July 2017 Their couch, for instance, can turn into a folding table, ottoman, desk, and more. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "This 20-Year-Old Bus Is Now A Solar-Powered Traveling Tiny Home," 27 June 2018 But their fun house scale — cups, umbrella, and all are each about the size of an ottoman — and slightly abstracted color are enough to put them into a strange virtual territory somewhere between trompe l’oeil and the uncanny valley. Will Heinrich, New York Times, "What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week," 13 June 2018 The custom armchair and ottoman are in a Ralph Lauren velvet, and the cabinetry is painted in Green Smoke by Farrow & Ball. ELLE Decor, "Sisters Ariel Ashe and Alexi Ashe Meyers Go in on a Country Home—With Seth Meyers And Wee Babes In Tow," 16 Apr. 2018 For a quick moment, Kelly Orgeron uses the ottoman to demonstrate how a victim of scoliosis ties his or her shoes. Ross Dellenger,, "The Never-Before-Told Story of Kelly Orgeron, Colorful Wife of LSU's Colorful Head Coach," 2 July 2018

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


1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1546, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ottoman


French, adjective & noun, probably from Italian ottomano, from Arabic ʽothmānī, from ʽOthmān Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire

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Last Updated

29 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for ottoman

The first known use of ottoman was in 1546

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English Language Learners Definition of ottoman

: a low piece of furniture that has a soft top and that you can put your feet on when you are sitting : a soft footstool

: a long seat with no back that has a soft top and that typically has space inside where things can be stored

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More from Merriam-Webster on ottoman

Spanish Central: Translation of ottoman

Nglish: Translation of ottoman for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ottoman for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ottoman

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