OTTOMAN, a form of couch which usuaUy has a head but no back, though sometimes it has neither. It may have square or semicircular ends, and as a rule it is what upholsterers call " stuffed over " - that is to say no wood is visible. It belongs to the same order of ideas as the divan (q.v.); its name indeed betokens its Oriental origin. It was one of the luxurious appointments which Europe imported from the East in the 18th century; the first mention that has been found of it is in France in 1729. In the course of a generation it made its way into every boudoir, but it appears originally to have been much larger than at present. The word is also applied to a small foot-stool covered with carpet, embroidery or beadwork.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)