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

Examples of purdah in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Built during the Mughal era, the park used to be frequented by elite Muslim women who observed the purdah tradition – being behind the veil at all times. Sushmita Pathak, The Christian Science Monitor, 25 July 2023 Much more difficult for us because of our purdah. Mira Sethi, The New Yorker, 7 Oct. 2022 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'purdah.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 20 Apr. 2024.

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