cel·​lar | \ˈse-lər \

Definition of cellar 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a room or set of rooms below the ground floor of a building : basement There's storage space in the cellar.

b(1) : a room for storing wines : wine cellar

(2) : a stock of wines a restaurant with an impressive cellar

2 : the lowest grade or rank especially : the lowest place in the standings (as of an athletic league) The team spent most of last year in the cellar.


cellared; cellaring

Definition of cellar (Entry 2 of 2)

1 transitive : to put or keep (something, such as wine or cheese) in a cellar for storage or aging Each batch is handmade to achieve a delicate soft texture, then cellared for a month to complete the aging …— Juliet Harbutt

2 intransitive : to be stored in a cellar : to undergo aging while being stored in a cellar Perfectly drinkable now, but will cellar nicely for another 3–5 years.Wine Enthusiast Magazine

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Synonyms for cellar

Synonyms: Noun


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Examples of cellar in a Sentence


The cellar has a dirt floor. a restaurant with an impressive cellar

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After two down years, this team crawled out of the AFC West cellar to finish second last year with little contribution from their 2017 rookies. Jonathan Jones, SI.com, "Predicting Every NFL Team’s 2018 Season Record," 7 June 2018 After the blasts revealed cellars in which merchants had been hoarding food and alcohol, a shocking collapse of discipline among the Redcoats ensued, leading to drunken looting that continued until Gov. Eliott hanged the worst offenders. Stephen Brumwell, WSJ, "‘Gibraltar’ Review: When the Rock Was a Hard Place," 3 Apr. 2018 California Wine Country Ania GattoWine Country ConciergeShe’s pulled off after-hours tastings at top wineries, opened doors to invitation-only cellars, and has the scoop on what’s reopened after this fall’s fires. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "2018 Top Travel Specialists We Trust," 19 Oct. 2018 Knowledgeable, English-speaking guides will whisk the curious to the French chateau-style Purcari, the oldest winery in Moldova, or the fascinating underground cellars of Mileștii Mici. Alia Akkam, Vogue, "Why Moldova Is a Wine Destination Worth Knowing Now," 27 Sep. 2018 Aside from curating private cellars, Downey offers two-day seminars in wine fraud and authentication (there’s one in New York in January, another in Hong Kong in February). Sean Elder, Town & Country, "Beware: Wine Fraud is More Common Than You Think," 17 Sep. 2018 Cincinnati and Cleveland deserve mention only because one will likely finish in third place and the other will occupy the cellar. David Ginsburg, The Seattle Times, "NFL 2018: Steelers poised to retain reign in AFC North," 28 Aug. 2018 The architectural firm of Curtis & Windham, which has extensive experience with residential wine-cellar construction around the area, is overseeing the project. Dale Robertson, Houston Chronicle, "Master Sommelier David Keck to open three wine-centric spots in Montrose," 11 June 2018 Just a half-hour drive away in Hammondsport are cellars like Dr. Konstantin Frank, with its Reisling pours and spectacular views of Keuka Lake. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian, "The 20 Best Small Towns To Visit in 2018," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Keeping carrots and cellaring them, that concentrates the sugars. Kristine M. Kierzek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Blind Horse executive chef pursued his art, until culinary interests called," 9 July 2018 And seldom are fragrances lovingly cellared in oak barrels. John Brodie, Town & Country, "Why Some Perfumers Are Betting That Fragrance Gets Better With Age," 30 Apr. 2018 Their 2014 is an intense and tightly wound wine that needs decanting or, better yet, cellaring a few years. 3. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "Enough With the Merlot Bashing: A Wine That’s Ripe for Revival," 26 Apr. 2018 His rich, concentrated Volnay will benefit from decanting or cellaring a few years—and signals a very promising start. 5. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "Beat the Burgundy Bubble: 11 Still-Affordable Wines," 7 Dec. 2017 The wines still can be cellared for years after their release. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Exploring Spain through wine at Milwaukee restaurants," 3 Oct. 2017 With cooler weather on the way, the kitchen staff has been making jams out of the last of summer peaches and apricots, pickling green beans and cellaring root vegetables. Nancy Matsumoto, WSJ, "At Chef Michael Stadtländer’s Farmhouse, Dinner Is Served," 14 Sep. 2017 This makes the wines more affordable, as well, because they can be sold immediately with no patient cellaring required. Marnie Old, Philly.com, "Great Wine Values: Lunetta Prosecco Veneto, Italy," 14 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cellar.' 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 cellar


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1551, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cellar


Middle English celer "storeroom, underground chamber," borrowed from Anglo-French, "storeroom," going back to Latin cellārium, from cella "store, larder, small room" + -ārium -ary entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near cellar






cellar club

cellar dweller

Statistics for cellar

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for cellar

The first known use of cellar was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for cellar



English Language Learners Definition of cellar

: the part of a building that is entirely or partly below the ground

: the wines that are stored in a restaurant, in someone's home, etc.


cel·​lar | \ˈse-lər \

Kids Definition of cellar

: a room or set of rooms below the surface of the ground : basement

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More from Merriam-Webster on cellar

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cellar

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cellar

Spanish Central: Translation of cellar

Nglish: Translation of cellar for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cellar for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cellar

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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