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purdah (n.)

1800, in India, "a curtain serving to screen women from the sight of men or strangers," from Urdu and Persian pardah "veil, curtain," from Old Persian pari "around, over" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, against, around") + da- "to place" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").

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Definitions of purdah from WordNet

purdah (n.)
a state of social isolation;
Synonyms: solitude
purdah (n.)
the traditional Hindu or Muslim system of keeping women secluded;
Synonyms: sex segregation
purdah (n.)
a screen used in India to separate women from men or strangers;
From wordnet.princeton.edu