- the part of a Muslim palace or house reserved for the residence of women.
- the women in a Muslim household, including the mother, sisters, wives, concubines, daughters, entertainers, and servants.
- Animal Behavior. a social group of females, as elephant seals, accompanied or followed by one fertile male who denies other males access to the group.
- Facetious: Sometimes Offensive. a group of women associated in any way with one man or household: I really resent it when our boss refers to us as his harem, though he’s trying to be funny.
- the part of an Oriental house reserved strictly for wives, concubines, etc
- a Muslim’s wives and concubines collectively
- a group of female animals of the same species that are the mates of a single male
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.”