Definition of concubinage in English:



mass nounhistorical
  • The practice of keeping a concubine, or the state of being a concubine.

    ‘what is the daughter of an infidel good for besides concubinage?’
    • ‘The hostile commentator William Tyndale, writing in 1530, made the distinction between England and other countries where concubinage (irregular clerical partnerships with women) was official, including neighbouring Wales.’
    • ‘Although the English Church was free of major scandals, such abuses as non-residence, pluralism, concubinage, and the parochial clergy's neglect to repair chancels, where these occurred, continued to attract attention.’
    • ‘From one-quarter to one-fifth were family- and sex-related offenses, including adultery, incest, concubinage, and rape.’
    • ‘The charge of concubinage was just as distasteful to Hawks as the perpetration of individual assaults because the suggestion of lewd conduct on the part of soldiers cast doubt on black women's morality.’
    • ‘Satlow then discusses levirate marriage, polygyny and concubinage.’


Late Middle English: from French, from Old French concubine (see concubine).