One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A part of a building set apart for women in an ancient Greek or Roman house.
- ‘Above each narthex is a gynaeceum, which was for the use of women only.’
- ‘In their aristocratic form, gynaecea were created by the male elite and were similar to Muslim harems.’
- ‘If the gynaeceum was a means of protection from the outside, male gaze, it was at the same time, a space specially designed for gaze as contemplation in silence.’
- ‘One night, he awoke and looked at the women of his gynaeceum, asleep around him in unflattering postures - frozen in a corpselike slumber.’
- ‘While the king was falling on the ground, the inmates of gynaeceum wept, raising their hands in distress.’
- ‘Women were so associated with textiles by the late Roman Empire that gynaecea (women's places) became the legal term for weaving, spinning, and dyeing establishments.’
Latin, from Greek gunaikeion (see gynoecium).
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