• WordNet 3.6
    • n seraglio living quarters reserved for wives and concubines and female relatives in a Muslim household
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Seraglio A harem; a place for keeping wives or concubines; sometimes, loosely, a place of licentious pleasure; a house of debauchery.
    • Seraglio An inclosure; a place of separation. "I went to the Ghetto, where the Jews dwell as in a suburb, by themselves. I passed by the piazza Judea, where their seraglio begins."
    • Seraglio The palace of the Grand Seignior, or Turkish sultan, at Constantinople, inhabited by the sultan himself, and all the officers and dependents of his court. In it are also kept the females of the harem.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n seraglio An inclosure; a place to which certain persons are confined, or where they are restricted within prescribed bounds.
    • n seraglio A walled palace; specifically, the chief or official palace of the Sultan of Turkey at Constantinople. It is of great size, and contains government buildings, mosques, etc., as well as the sultan's harem.
    • n seraglio A place for the seclusion of concubines; a harem; hence, a place of licentious pleasure.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Seraglio se-ral′yō the ancient residence of the Sultan at Constantinople, enclosing within its walls a variety of mosques, gardens, and large edifices, the chief of which is the Harem: a place where women are kept, a place of licentious pleasure: an enclosure.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
It. serraglio, originally, an inclosure of palisades, afterwards also, a palace, seraglio (by confusion with Per. serāï,a a palace, an entirely different word), fr. serrare, to shut, fr. LL. serra, a bar for fastening doors, L. sera,. See Serry Series
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
It. serraglio—Low L. serāre, to lock up, from L. sera, a door-bar. The word was confused with Pers. serai, a palace.


In literature:

I did not die, however, but my eunuch, and the Dey, and almost the whole seraglio of Algiers perished.
"Candide" by Voltaire
He generally makes it an old stock-keeper, something that has been a good thirty years or so in the seraglio.
"Jack Harkaway's Boy Tinker Among The Turks" by Bracebridge Hemyng
For the rest, there is no trace of any oriental seraglio system.
"Short Studies on Great Subjects" by James Anthony Froude
But the ladies of the king's seraglio were his principal customers.
"The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan" by James Morier
The caliph went away much amused, and with his attendants entered the private gate of the seraglio.
"The Pacha of Many Tales" by Frederick Marryat
It obviously forms part of the seraglio.
"The Middy and the Moors" by R.M. Ballantyne
A ladies' apartment in a seraglio, and leave injury; again, and leave a meat.
"St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, July 1878, No. 9" by Various
In Constantinople we also saw three or four other Mosques of great size, and the Seraglio grounds and Palace.
"A Fantasy of Mediterranean Travel" by S. G. Bayne
One bright morning in August, 1864, after a brief rest at Salt Lake, we left Brigham's seraglios for this new El Dorado.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 106, August, 1866" by Various
Only you must have at least two men with you, in order to overpower the slaves which, by night, guard the seraglio.
"The Oriental Story Book" by Wilhelm Hauff

In news:

It's Mozart's comic romp, Abduction from the Seraglio , but instead of setting it in the 18th century, this tale takes place right after World War I and it pays homage to the early Hollywood era of silent pictures.
American Ballet Theatre's swashbuckling ballet is like "The Abduction from the Seraglio" meets "The Pirates of Penzance" as.
San Francisco Opera's production of Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio).