Definitions for eunuchˈyu nək

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word eunuch

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

eu•nuchˈyu nək(n.)

  1. a castrated man, esp. one formerly employed by Oriental rulers as a harem guard or palace official.

    Category: Western History

Origin of eunuch:

1350–1400; ME eunuk < L eunūchus < Gk eunoûchos=eun(ḗ) bed +-ouchos, var. of -ochos, n. der. of échein to keep, have

eu′nuch•ism(n.)

Princeton's WordNet

  1. eunuch, castrate(noun)

    a man who has been castrated and is incapable of reproduction

    "eunuchs guarded the harem"

Wiktionary

  1. eunuch(Noun)

    A castrated human male.

  2. eunuch(Noun)

    A sterilized human female (cf. The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer).

  3. eunuch(Noun)

    Such a man employed as harem guard or in certain (mainly Eastern) monarchies (e.g. late Roman and Chinese Empires) as court or state officials.

  4. Origin: Borrowed from eunuchus, originally from εὐνοῦχος, from εὐνή + ἔχω. Originally probably used to refer to a bed chamber attendant.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Eunuch(noun)

    a male of the human species castrated; commonly, one of a class of such persons, in Oriental countries, having charge of the women's apartments. Some of them, in former times, gained high official rank

  2. Eunuch(verb)

    alt. of Eunuchate

Freebase

  1. Eunuch

    A eunuch is a man who may have been castrated, typically early enough in his life for this change to have major hormonal consequences. Less commonly, in translations of ancient texts, "eunuch" may refer to a man who is not castrated but who is impotent, celibate, or otherwise not inclined to marry and procreate. Most eunuchs who are castrated before puberty are not sexual. Castration was typically carried out on the soon-to-be eunuch without his consent in order that he might perform a specific social function; this was common in many societies. The earliest records for intentional castration to produce eunuchs are from the Sumerian city of Lagash in the 21st century BC. Over the millennia since, they have performed a wide variety of functions in many different cultures: courtiers or equivalent domestics, treble singers, religious specialists, government officials and guardians of women or harem servants. Eunuchs would probably be servants or slaves who, because of their function, had been castrated, usually in order to make them reliable servants of a royal court where physical access to the ruler could wield great influence. Seemingly lowly domestic functions—such as making the ruler's bed, bathing him, cutting his hair, carrying him in his litter, or even relaying messages—could in theory give a eunuch "the ruler's ear" and impart de facto power on the formally humble but trusted servant. Similar instances are reflected in the humble origins and etymology of many high offices. Eunuchs supposedly did not generally have loyalties to the military, the aristocracy, nor to a family of their own, and were thus seen as more trustworthy and less interested in establishing a private 'dynasty'. Because their condition usually lowered their social status, they could also be easily replaced or killed without repercussion. In cultures that had both harems and eunuchs, eunuchs were sometimes used as harem servants or seraglio guards.

Translation

Find a translation for the eunuch definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these eunuch definitions with the community:


Citation

Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"eunuch." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 23 Oct. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/eunuch>.

Are we missing a good definition for eunuch?


The Web's Largest Resource for

Definitions & Translations


A Member Of The STANDS4 Network


Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for eunuch: