brothel

brothel "bawdy house," 1590s, shortened from brothel-house, from brothel "prostitute" (late 15c.), earlier "vile, worthless person" of either sex (14c.), from O.E. broðen pp. of breoðan "deteriorate, go to ruin," from P.Gmc. *breuthanan, var. of *breutanan "to break" (Cf. BRITTLE (Cf. brittle)). In 16c. brothel-house was confused with unrelated bordel (see BORDELLO (Cf. bordello)) and shifted meaning from a person to a place.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Brothel — Broth el, n. [OE. brothel, brodel, brethel, a prostitute, a worthless fellow, fr. AS. ber[ o][eth]an to ruin, destroy; cf. AS. bre[ o]tan to break, and E. brittle. The term brothel house was confused with bordel brothel. CF. {Bordel}.] A house of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • brothel — [n] house of prostitution bagnio, bawdy house*, bordello, call house*, cathouse*, den of iniquity*, house of assignation, house of ill repute, house with red doors*, massage parlor, red light district, whorehouse; concept 449 …   New thesaurus

  • brothel — ► NOUN ▪ a house where men visit prostitutes. ORIGIN originally in the sense «worthless man, prostitute»: related to an Old English word meaning «degenerate, deteriorate» …   English terms dictionary

  • brothel — [bräth′əl, brôth′əl] n. [ME, wretched person < OE brothen, pp. of broethan, to waste away, go to ruin; confused with BORDEL] a place where prostitutes may be engaged for hire …   English World dictionary

  • Brothel — Lupanar redirects here. For the Pompeii brothel, see Lupanar (Pompeii). Cathouse redirects here. For other uses, see Cathouse (disambiguation). For the 2008 film The Brothel , see Brothel (film). Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Salon at the Rue des… …   Wikipedia

  • brothel — noun VERB + BROTHEL ▪ go to, visit ▪ He used to visit a brothel on the outskirts of town. ▪ run ▪ His aunt ran a brothel. ▪ She ran a bro …   Collocations dictionary

  • brothel — [14] Originally, brothel was a general term of abuse for any worthless or despised person (John Gower, in his Confessio Amantis 1393, writes: ‘Quoth Achab then, there is one, a brothel, which Micheas hight [who is called Micheas]’); it was a… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • brothel — [14] Originally, brothel was a general term of abuse for any worthless or despised person (John Gower, in his Confessio Amantis 1393, writes: ‘Quoth Achab then, there is one, a brothel, which Micheas hight [who is called Micheas]’); it was a… …   Word origins

  • brothel — brothellike, adj. /broth euhl, brodh , braw theuhl, dheuhl/, n. a house of prostitution. [1350 1400 for earlier sense; short for brothel house whore house; ME brothel harlot, orig. worthless person, equiv. to broth (ptp. s. of brethen, OE… …   Universalium

  • brothel — UK [ˈbrɒθ(ə)l] / US [ˈbrɑθ(ə)l] noun [countable] Word forms brothel : singular brothel plural brothels a place where men pay to have sex with prostitutes …   English dictionary

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