al·​cove | \ˈal-ˌkōv \

Definition of alcove 

1a : a small recessed section of a room : nook

b : an arched opening (as in a wall) : niche

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Other Words from alcove

alcoved \ -​ˌkōvd \ adjective

Synonyms for alcove


niche, nook, recess

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Examples of alcove in a Sentence

a small alcove in one corner of the backyard garden an ancient vase in an alcove and a sculpture of Achilles on a stand in the museum's Greek Hall

Recent Examples on the Web

There's the area around the fireplace, the weird angle at the foot of the stairs, and the alcove for the schoolmarm's desk — centered between the girls' and boys' entrances — which has become a window seat. Douglas Brenner, House Beautiful, "John Peixinho on How He Transformed a One-Room Schoolhouse Into a Home," 5 Feb. 2015 But for the past year those genteel alcoves have been cordoned of with segments of ten-foot-high chain-link. Matthew Segal, Los Angeles Magazine, "The Complicated Case of the Colorado Street Bridge," 18 June 2018 Around the corner from this central room is an alcove where visitors will find prayer mats, meditation pillows, a shoe rack and separate spaces for both prayer and meditation. Cathie Anderson, sacbee, "Grief, thanksgiving, prayer, mindfulness: This Sutter space is designed for it all," 27 June 2018 The twins' favorite amenity was the alcove under the stairs, which served as a perfect hiding place for reading. Simon Peter Groebner,, "Come sail away at this fun northern Minnesota resort on Lake Vermilion," 6 June 2018 Past the dining room is the butcher block kitchen, which sports a double oven, island with gas cooktop, and a big arched alcove with sink and open shelving. Jon Gorey,, "For sale: Bungalows in Needham and Weston," 18 May 2018 An alcove for a washer and dryer is at the beginning of the hallway, behind folding doors. Carol Riordan,, "Property of the Week: 5 Clew Drive, Middletown," 16 Mar. 2018 Five hundred years in an alcove of a Spanish church is likely to leave any statue looking a bit cracked and faded, and the 16th-century wooden figure of St. George at St. Michael’s Church in Estella, a town in northern Spain, was no exception. Mark A. Walsh, New York Times, "A Botched Statue Restoration in Spain: Is That St. George or Tintin?," 26 June 2018 French doors lead to a deck, while a cozy alcove on the other side forms what could be an office space. Lauren Ro, Curbed, "Updated 1911 Arts and Crafts home wants $1.2M," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alcove.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of alcove

1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for alcove

French alcôve, from Spanish alcoba, from Arabic al-qubba the arch

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Dictionary Entries near alcove





alcresta ipecac



Statistics for alcove

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for alcove

The first known use of alcove was in 1655

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More Definitions for alcove



English Language Learners Definition of alcove

: a small section of a room that is set back from the rest of it


al·​cove | \ˈal-ˌkōv \

Kids Definition of alcove

: a small part of a room set back from the rest of it

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Comments on alcove

What made you want to look up alcove? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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