a man's group of ladies
Dude goes to lunch every day with his harem. They follow him everywhere like puppy dogs.
Sheik Mohammed-izzle-nizzle(1904): I got a harem full o' bitches
Nizzle-wizzle-got-tha-bizzle(2004): I got a stable full o' bitches
A genre in manga
where a single (often ordinary) guy is liked and followed by bunch of girls (3 or more) who are all madly in love with him. The girls often fight each other to get the guy's attention.
female version of this is reverse harem
Rana 1/2 is a harem manga
From Arabic harIm (literally "something forbidden") and haram (literally "a sanctuary")
, and other areas of the Middle East
, the harem was a section of a palace
where the women of the palace lived. Contrary to popular belief, the harem was not a brothel
; that's simply a Western viewpoint. The harem did house the wives (and sometimes concubine
s) of the Shah, but his female relatives also lived there.
Still, there are many cases where a group of females linked sexually to one male (or males linked to one female) is referred to as a harem.
Sure, the harem is associated with polygamous sexual relations, but not all of them are based on sex: a woman with a large group of gay male friends could refer to them as her "harem".
Harem (Turkish, from Arabic حرم ḥaram 'forbidden place; sacrosanct, sanctum', related to حريم ḥarīm 'a sacred inviolable place; female members of the family' and حرام ḥarām, 'forbidden; sacred') refers to the sphere of women in a usually polygynous household and their quarters which is enclosed and forbidden to men. It originated in the Near East and came to the Western world via the Ottoman Empire.
The term serraglio (Italian from Persian sarāy "palace, enclosed courts") carries a similar meaning.
In modern colloquial (and humorous) English, "harem" may denote a number of female followers of a charismatic man.
The 'harem' does not refer to a sanctuary for the wives of a polygynous person. It is simply a resting quarters for women. Female seclusion in Islam is emphasized to the extent that any unlawful breaking into that privacy is ḥarām "forbidden". Contrary to the common belief, a Muslim harem does not necessarily consist solely of women with whom the head of the household has sexual relations (wives and concubines), but also their young offspring, other female relatives, etc.; and it may either be a palatial complex, as in Romantic tales, in which case it includes staff (women and eunuchs), or simply their quarters, in the Ottoman tradition separated from the men's selamlık. The Greek gynaeceum and Persian zenana were comparable institutions.
To quote someone who knows what they're talking about:
"From Arabic harIm (literally "something forbidden") and haram (literally "a sanctuary")"
Although its original meaning was the part of a household reserved for females - including perhaps a man's mother, sisters, and daughters, as well as wife or wives - it is commonly used to mean a group of more than one woman who are all available sexually to a single man. This situation is Polygyny ("multiple women.") Sometimes it also refers to a group of men who are available to a single woman. This situation is Polyandry ("multiple men.") Either may be called Polygamy ("multiple marriage.")
People who think it derives from Latin don't know what they're talking about, which is no great crime - no one knows everything. People who think it derives from Latin and say so on a public forum like this not only don't know that they don't know what they're talking about, but are displaying and perpetuating their ignorance.
"Take a good look at the Good Book - all those Biblical patriarchs had harems."
(n.) 1630s, from Turkish harem, from Arabic haram "wives and concubines," originally "women's quarters," literally "something forbidden or kept safe," from root of harama "he guarded, forbade."
"My Harem is filled with multiple wives"