• WordNet 3.6
    • n seraglio living quarters reserved for wives and concubines and female relatives in a Muslim household
    • ***
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.
    • ***
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.
    • ***
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.
    • ***


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
Did she not turn on Jerusalem as upon Sodom, upon St. Anthony in his desert as upon Nero in his seraglio?
"A Collection of Stories, Reviews and Essays" by Willa Cather
Woman was no longer the captive of the seraglio, nor the chronicler of small beer.
"Hopes and Fears scenes from the life of a spinster" by Charlotte M. Yonge
You have turned your house into a seraglio, as birds are kept in a cage.
"Eastern Tales by Many Story Tellers" by Various
Thus it was proved, that queens confined in a hive would continue barren though amidst a seraglio of males.
"New observations on the natural history of bees" by Francis Huber
We buried Marian at night, by the Nabob's permission, in a corner of the garden of the seraglio.
"Athelstane Ford" by Allen Upward
Inside the most holy seraglio?
"Turandot, Princess of China" by Karl Gustav Vollmöller
But of all the striking edifices at Constantinople, that of the Sultan's Palace, or seraglio, is the most spacious and the most magnificent.
"Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf" by George W. M. Reynolds
The marching past had begun, and still the "King of kings" turned his back on it all, while trying to persuade me to be Queen of his seraglio.
"Secret Memoirs: The Story of Louise, Crown Princess" by Henry W. Fischer
Why, even the very rabble in Constantinople would storm the seraglio after such a massacre.
"Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863" by Adam Gurowski
Balthazard returned to his seraglio.
"Adventures in the Philippine Islands" by Paul P. de La Gironière

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).