Definition of concubinage in US English:



  • 1The practice of keeping a concubine.

    • ‘From one-quarter to one-fifth were family- and sex-related offenses, including adultery, incest, concubinage, and rape.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 The state of being a concubine.
      • ‘Nor is the widespread practice of forced concubinage that has long been associated with slavery.’
      • ‘Females were allocated to concubinage or domestic service.’
      • ‘Her refusal to acquiesce in forced concubinage, combined with her assertion of sexual agency, forms the basis for re-appropriation of her sexuality, both in a physical, tangible sense, and more broadly in intangible terms.’
      • ‘New Orleans's ‘fancy trade’ in female slaves for concubinage and houses of prostitution was much greater than elsewhere in the South, and must therefore have had some effect upon the workings of the slave market there.’
      • ‘Because of the stigma associated with concubinage, they may have little choice.’
      • ‘If we apply this statement to her more overt narrative about taking from whites, then theft becomes as easily associated with slavery as forced concubinage.’
      • ‘There are also horrific cases of girls as young as 12 or 13 being taken off to militia camps, used and abused and kept in forced concubinage…’
      • ‘When Lutie is faced with attempted rape by an African American man, and forced concubinage to a white slumlord, she responds with violence fueled by rage and frustration.’
      • ‘Jean-Marc Nattier's portrait of the marquise de Pompadour as, vaguely, Diana was completed in 1746 (Musee de Saint-Omer), at the start of her career of stately concubinage.’
      • ‘He fled with a bounty on his head and his sisters were abducted and forced into concubinage anyway.’
      • ‘Forced concubinage, illiteracy, the imposition of a smothering garb, and public religious piety hiding debauchery in private - this is the description of life as it exists today in some countries.’
      • ‘Those freed from captivity, forced concubinage, conversion, and slavery were naturally gratified and they offered no criticism of the program that led to their liberation by ransom.’
      • ‘By contrast, the Chinese community in the U.S. during the 19th and early 20th centuries, also with a high sex ratio, kept women in something akin to concubinage.’


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