Simple Definition of cloister
: a place where monks or nuns live : a monastery or convent
: a covered path or hall with arches that is on the side of a building (such as a monastery or church) and that has one open side usually facing a courtyard
Full Definition of cloister
1 a : a monastic establishment b : an area within a monastery or convent to which the religious are normally restricted c : monastic life d : a place or state of seclusion
2 : a covered passage on the side of a court usually having one side walled and the other an open arcade or colonnade
Examples of cloister in a sentence
<monks living in a cloister in the country>
Origin and Etymology of cloister
Middle English cloistre, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin claustrum, from Latin, bar, bolt, from claudere to close — more at close
First Known Use: 13th century
Definition of cloister
1 : to seclude from the world in or as if in a cloister <a scientist who cloisters herself in a laboratory>
2 : to surround with a cloister <cloistered gardens>
Did You Know?
Cloister first entered the English language as a noun in the 13th century; it referred then (as it still does) to a convent or monastery. More than three centuries later, English speakers began using the verb "cloister" to mean "to seclude in or as if in a cloister." Today the noun can also refer to the monastic life or to a covered and usually arched passage along or around a court. You may also encounter "cloistered" with the meaning "surrounded with a covered passage," as in "cloistered gardens." "Cloister" ultimately derives from the Latin verb claudere, meaning "to close." Other words that can be traced back to the prolific "claudere" include "close," "conclude," "exclude," "include," "preclude," "seclude," and "recluse."
First Known Use of cloister
CLOISTER Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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