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purdah Line breaks: pur¦dah
Pronunciation: /ˈpəːdə/

Definition of purdah in English:


[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.
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.
1.2A state of seclusion or secrecy: the supermarket’s own self-imposed purdah on the GM issue expect the lawyers to re-emerge from their temporary purdah when the legislation is published
More example sentences
  • After eight years of purdah, the former presidents have finally emerged into the glare of the television cameras.
  • It was almost like saying, "please, please go into purdah and don't appear until you've had this child and look like a normal human being again."
  • Phil struggled to get back to reality after his purdah in the UK.
1.3British The period leading up to an election, during which government departments generally refrain from making any new announcements: it is very difficult at the moment with the election on and the government in purdah
More example sentences
  • Government regulations require councils to remain strictly impartial once an election is called, commonly called the "purdah" period.
  • It seems unlikely that they will all go off on holiday for the duration of the election campaign or adopt the equivalent of the ministerial purdah.
  • With the civil service now going into purdah for the European and English county council elections, an announcement isn't expected until next month.


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

Words that rhyme with purdah


Definition of purdah in:

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