• cloister
  • audio pronunciation
  • \KLOY-ster\
  • DEFINITION

verb

: to confine in or as if in a cloister : to shut away from the world
  • EXAMPLES

Julie declared that she was going to cloister herself and study as hard as she could until the exam.

"Cloistered for debate prep at a resort in Williamsburg, Va., the president devoted his weekly radio and internet address to the Obama administration's work to revive the U.S. auto industry." — From an Associated Press article by Nancy Benac and Kasie Hunt, October 13, 2012

  • 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."

Test Your Memory: What word completes this sentence from a former Word of the Day piece: "When Rolf asked her where she had been, Tianna just gave him an __________ smile and answered, 'Oh, here and there'"? The answer is ...

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