From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44 [gcide]:
2. A wife of inferior condition; a lawful wife, but not united to the man by the usual ceremonies, and of inferior condition. Such were Hagar and Keturah, the concubines of Abraham; and such concubines were allowed by the Roman laws. Their children were not heirs of their father.
From WordNet (r) 2.0 [wn]:
From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 [moby-thes]:
51 Moby Thesaurus words for "concubine": better half, bondmaid, bondman, bondslave, bondsman, bondswoman, captive, chattel, chattel slave, churl, common-law wife, debt slave, doxy, feme, feme covert, galley slave, goodwife, goody, helot, helpmate, helpmeet, homager, kept mistress, kept woman, lady, liege, liege man, liege subject, married woman, matron, mistress, odalisque, old lady, old woman, paramour, peon, playmate, rib, serf, servant, slave, squaw, subject, theow, thrall, unofficial wife, vassal, villein, wedded wife, wife, woman
From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary [easton]:
Concubine in the Bible denotes a female conjugally united to a man, but in a relation inferior to that of a wife. Among the early Jews, from various causes, the difference between a wife and a concubine was less marked than it would be amongst us. The concubine was a wife of secondary rank. There are various laws recorded providing for their protection (Ex. 21:7; Deut. 21:10-14), and setting limits to the relation they sustained to the household to which they belonged (Gen. 21:14; 25:6). They had no authority in the family, nor could they share in the household government. The immediate cause of concubinage might be gathered from the conjugal histories of Abraham and Jacob (Gen. 16;30). But in process of time the custom of concubinage degenerated, and laws were made to restrain and regulate it (Ex. 21:7-9). Christianity has restored the sacred institution of marriage to its original character, and concubinage is ranked with the sins of fornication and adultery (Matt. 19:5-9; 1 Cor. 7:2).
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