pur·​dah ˈpər-də How to pronounce purdah (audio)
: seclusion of women from public observation among Muslims and some Hindus especially in India
: a state of seclusion or concealment

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In the book, Perveen can go to places where male lawyers cannot due to the practice of purdah. Randy Dotinga, The Christian Science Monitor, 31 Mar. 2020 Cultural hurdles such as women not being permitted to talk to other men, the purdah system, and restrictions on mobility get in the way, too. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, 20 Nov. 2019 This doesn’t mean older women should give up and go into purdah. Abby Gardner, Glamour, 30 Apr. 2019 This was hardly the first occasion when a party had locked its politicians in purdah to preserve their chastity from a predatory rival. The Economist, 31 May 2018 Saudi Arabia’s princes used to shrink from Britain’s press like women in purdah. The Economist, 8 Mar. 2018 The insights from the Inflation Report are the first in weeks since a snap general election called by Prime Minister Theresa May policy makers into purdah. Jill Ward, Bloomberg.com, 11 May 2017 Governor Mark Carney will hold a press conference 30 minutes later, marking the first comments from an MPC member since the BOE went into pre-election purdah last month. Lucy Meakin, Bloomberg.com, 5 May 2017 Selmayr’s Influence Selmayr has already weighed in on the election, taking to Twitter at the weekend to complain about a U.K decision to delay a routine review of the EU’s budget, citing election campaign-period rules also known as purdah. Robert Hutton, Bloomberg.com, 3 May 2017 See More

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

Word History


Hindi & Urdu parda, literally, screen, veil

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of purdah was in 1865

Dictionary Entries Near purdah

Cite this Entry

“Purdah.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purdah. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

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