Easton's Bible Dictionary
(1.) Hebrews zonah (Genesis 34:31; 38:15). In verses 21, 22 the Hebrew word used in kedeshah, i.e., a woman consecrated or devoted to prostitution in connection with the abominable worship of Asherah or Astarte, the Syrian Venus. This word is also used in Deuteronomy 23:17; Hosea 4:14. Thus Tamar sat by the wayside as a consecrated kedeshah.
Jephthah's mother is called a "strange woman" (Judges 11:2). This, however, merely denotes that she was of foreign extraction.
In the time of Solomon harlots appeared openly in the streets, and he solemnly warns against association with them (Proverbs 7:12; 9:14. See also Jeremiah 3:2; Ezek. 16:24, 25, 31). The Revised Version, following the LXX., has "and the harlots washed," etc., instead of the rendering of the Authorized Version, "now they washed," of 1 Kings 22:38.
(2.) Hebrews nokriyah, the "strange woman" (1 Kings 11:1; Proverbs 5:20; 7:5; 23:27). Those so designated were Canaanites and other Gentiles (Joshua 23:13). To the same class belonged the "foolish", i.e., the sinful, "woman."
In the New Testament the Greek pornai, plural, "harlots," occurs in Matthew 21:31,32, where they are classed with publicans; Luke 15:30; 1 Corinthians 6:15,16; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25. It is used symbolically in Revelation 17:1, 5, 15, 16; 19:2.
Noah Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language
1. (n.) A churl; a common man; a person, male or female, of low birth.
2. (n.) A person given to low conduct; a rogue; a cheat; a rascal.
3. (n.) A woman who prostitutes her body for hire; a prostitute; a common woman; a strumpet.
4. (a.) Wanton; lewd; low; base.
5. (v. i.) To play the harlot; to practice lewdness.