Definition of purdah in English:


Line breaks: pur¦dah
Pronunciation: /ˈpəːdə


[mass noun]
1The practice in certain Muslim and Hindu societies of screening women from men or strangers, especially by means of a curtain: he never required them to observe purdah she was supposed to be in purdah upstairs
More example sentences
  • The idea that if one gives up a customary religious practice such as purdah, that one is ceasing to be a Muslim altogether is an egregious misrepresentation of what it takes to be a Muslim.
  • More than purdah impacting a Muslim woman's mobility, it is the attitude of the men that puts shackles on their mobility - for education or work.
  • He deprecated the practice of purdah and sati, encouraged inter-caste alliances and remarriage of widows.
1.1 [count noun] A curtain used for the purpose of purdah.
More example sentences
  • The memory of his grandmother's rousing speech to the electorate from behind the purdah when his mother contested in the elections is the event he recalls as the most moving in his life.
  • Learn to read, and while you are seated behind the purdah you may make a tour of the whole world.


early 19th century: from Urdu and Persian parda 'veil, curtain'.

Definition of purdah in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day premonition
Pronunciation: ˌprɛməˈnɪʃ(ə)n
a strong feeling that something will happen …