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How to pronounce concubine (audio)


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Dictionary definition of concubine

A woman who cohabits with a man without being legally married to him.
"The sultan had many concubines in his harem."


Detailed meaning of concubine

Historically, concubines were often considered inferior to wives and were not afforded the same legal or social rights. Concubinage was more common in societies where polygamy was allowed, and a man could have multiple wives and concubines. In some cultures, concubines were trained in the arts of seduction and were sought after for their beauty and charm. The practice of concubinage has largely been abolished in modern times, and in many countries, it is now considered illegal.

Example sentences containing concubine

1. In ancient China, a concubine was often considered inferior to a wife in terms of social status.
2. Many famous historical figures had concubines, including King Solomon and Julius Caesar.
3. The role of a concubine varied across cultures and throughout history.
4. Some concubines were treated as mistresses while others held a more significant status.
5. The practice of keeping concubines was common in many ancient societies.
6. Concubines often did not have the same legal rights as wives.

History and etymology of concubine

The noun 'concubine' has an etymology rooted in Latin and Old French. It can be traced back to the Latin word 'concubina,' formed from 'con-' meaning 'together' and 'cubare' meaning 'to lie down' or 'to rest.' In ancient Rome, a 'concubina' referred to a woman who lived with a man in a relationship that was not legally recognized as a marriage but had a degree of social acceptance. This etymology underscores the notion of cohabitation or dwelling together, emphasizing the intimate nature of the arrangement. Over time, the term 'concubine' has come to represent a woman in a similar type of relationship with a man, although it may vary in cultural and historical contexts, and its connotations have evolved accordingly.

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Further usage examples of concubine

1. In some cases, concubines were even used for political gain or alliances.
2. The life of a concubine was often difficult and lacked autonomy.
3. Concubinage was common in ancient Rome and Greece, where upper-class men would often have mistresses.
4. Concubines were also common in many Islamic societies.
5. Concubines often played important roles in shaping the history and culture of the societies they lived in.
6. In some historical cultures, a concubine held a unique social status.
7. The king's concubine was known for her beauty and intelligence.
8. The novel's plot involved a love triangle with a concubine.
9. He learned about the practice of having a concubine in ancient times.
10. The historical documentary explored the life of a concubine.
11. The concubine's role in the story added depth to the narrative.
12. In traditional societies, a concubine often lived in the palace.
13. The protagonist faced a moral dilemma involving a concubine.
14. The historical drama depicted the challenges faced by a concubine.
15. The concubine's story was a subplot in the larger narrative.
16. The film portrayed the complex relationships of a concubine.
17. The historical record reveals the life of a royal concubine.
18. The character's decision to become a concubine was pivotal.
19. The book delves into the life of a woman who was a concubine.
20. The drama explored the emotional struggles of a concubine.
21. A concubine often played a significant role in palace politics.
22. The emperor had a concubine in his royal court.
23. The historical context of concubinage is important to understand.
24. The character's journey from a servant to a concubine was compelling.
25. The novel's setting included a harem with a concubine.



mistress, wife, spouse, partner


SAT 9 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Attraction and Allure, Alternative Lifestyles and Poverty

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