pur·​dah | \ ˈpər-də How to pronounce purdah (audio) \

Definition of purdah

1 : seclusion of women from public observation among Muslims and some Hindus especially in India
2 : a state of seclusion or concealment

Examples of purdah in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This doesn’t mean older women should give up and go into purdah. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "A Fashion Editor Said Supermodel Helena Christensen Was Too Old to Wear a Bustier—and People Aren’t Having It," 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, "People in India often despair of their democracy," 31 May 2018 Saudi Arabia’s princes used to shrink from Britain’s press like women in purdah. The Economist, "Prince Charm-offensiveSaudi Arabia launches a charm offensive in Britain," 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, "Carney Sees Tougher Time for Households Even If Brexit Smooth," 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, "Faster Inflation Won't Change BOE Minds as U.K. Growth Softens," 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, "May Accuses EU of Sabotaging Election as Brexit Lines Harden," 3 May 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of purdah

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for purdah

Hindi & Urdu parda, literally, screen, veil

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about purdah

Statistics for purdah

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for purdah

The first known use of purdah was in 1865

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for purdah



English Language Learners Definition of purdah

: a custom among Muslims and some Hindus in which women stay separate from men or keep their faces and bodies covered when they are near men

More from Merriam-Webster on purdah

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about purdah

Comments on purdah

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


miscellaneous remnants or debris

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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