- the practice among some Hindus and Muslims of secluding women from strangers
- a curtain or partition used for this
- the section of a house reserved primarily for women
Origin of purdahUrdu and Hindi pardah, veil from Persian
- a. A curtain or screen, used mainly in India to keep women separate from men or strangers.b. The Hindu or Muslim system of sex segregation, practiced especially by keeping women in seclusion.
- Social seclusion: “Never have artists been more separate: their inordinate fame, wealth, drug use have driven them into luxurious purdah” ( D. Keith Mano )
Origin of purdahUrdu pardah veil from Persian from Middle Persian pardak from Old Persian paridaka- from pari-dā- to place over pari around, over ; see per1 in Indo-European roots. dā- to place ; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.
- A curtain, especially as used to conceal and divide women from men and strangers in some Hindu or Muslim traditions.
- (rare) A striped cotton cloth which is used to make curtains.
- A long veil, or other all-enveloping clothing, worn by women in some Muslim societies.
- The state or system of social gender seclusion in some Muslim or Hindu communities.
- (UK politics) The time between the announcement and holding of an election, during which any governmental activities that may be construed as potentially benefiting or promoting a specific political party or prospective candidate are halted or suspended.
- (UK politics) The period after plans have been prepared but before the Chancellor of the Exchequer's annual budget is announced, when he refrains from discussing any matters which have relevance to the forthcoming budget.