Share this entry

harlot Line breaks: har¦lot
Pronunciation: /ˈhɑːlət/

Definition of harlot in English:

noun

archaic
A prostitute or promiscuous woman.
Example sentences
  • When choosing red we are not choosing to be strumpets, harlots, hookers, liars, and witches, but rather to wear their totemic color, the shade of Mars as well as that of heartbreak, to see how we look.
  • I asked her what she did for work; she told me she was a dancer; then in another moment, she explained she was a stripper, a harlot, a prostitute.
  • She is often referred to as a whore and a harlot, for she is of lower class than both Desdemona and Emilia.
Synonyms
promiscuous woman, slut, hussy
euphemisticmodel, escort, masseuse
Spanishputa
informalpro, tail, brass nail, tom, woman on the game, working girl, member of the oldest profession, floozie, moll
British informalscrubber, slag, slapper
North American informalhooker, tramp, hustler, roundheel
black Englishho
datedtart, streetwalker, woman of the streets, woman of the night, scarlet woman, loose woman, fallen woman, woman of easy virtue, cocotte
archaicstrumpet, courtesan, trollop, wanton, woman of ill repute, lady of pleasure, Cyprian, doxy, drab, quean, trull, wench

Derivatives

harlotry

1
Pronunciation: /ˈhɑːlətri/
noun
Example sentences
  • Zhdanov's tirades had included his description of Anna Akhmatova as ‘a nun or a whore - or rather both a nun and a whore who combines harlotry with prayer.’
  • Through chastity, as opposed to adultery and harlotry, both spiritual and physical, a person refuses to be made into an instrument and vessel of pleasure.
  • The first part of the essay is a story which her mother tells her about her allegedly adulterous aunt, villainized and accused of harlotry.

Origin

Middle English (denoting a vagabond or beggar, later a lecherous man or woman): from Old French harlot, herlot 'young man, knave, vagabond'.

More
  • In the 13th century a harlot was a term of abuse for a male beggar or villain. It then came to refer to a jester or comedian and to a male servant before it started to mean ‘a promiscuous woman’ in the mid 15th century. It was much used in early English versions of the Bible as a less offensive word than ‘whore’.

Words that rhyme with harlot

charlotte

Definition of harlot in:

Share this entry

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources