clos·​et | \ ˈklä-zət How to pronounce closet (audio) , ˈklȯ- \

Definition of closet

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : an apartment or small room for privacy
b : a monarch's or official's private chamber
2 : a cabinet or recess for especially china, household utensils, or clothing
3 : a place of retreat or privacy
5 : a state or condition of secrecy, privacy, or obscurity came out of the closet


closeted; closeting; closets

Definition of closet (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to shut up in or as if in a closet
2 : to take into a closet for a secret interview



Definition of closet (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : closely private
2 : working in or suited to the closet as the place of seclusion or study : theoretical
3 : being so in private a closet racist

Other Words from closet


closetful \ ˈklä-​zət-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce closet (audio) , ˈklȯ-​ \ noun

Examples of closet in a Sentence

Noun The sheets and blankets are in the hall closet. He has a closet full of new clothes. Verb He closeted himself in his apartment for several days. he closeted himself in his study, vowing not to emerge until he had finished the term paper Adjective Some people think he's a closet homosexual.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Because who doesn't want that LV monogram hanging in her closet? Halie Lesavage, Harper's BAZAAR, 29 Apr. 2022 Olivia is covered in Heaven by Marc Jacobs from head to toe and the brand has become a staple in her closet. Samantha Olson, Seventeen, 28 Apr. 2022 Finding a spare inch of space in your closet can feel like an endless struggle. Lauren Rearick,, 23 Apr. 2022 And what about the clothes that hang in your closet unworn? Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 22 Apr. 2022 Often including gowns and jackets that perfectly fit in my closet. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 19 Apr. 2022 Enter: the Tretorn Nyliteplus Canvas Sneakers, a vintage-style canvas shoe that pairs well with everything in your closet. Emily Belfiore, Travel + Leisure, 18 Apr. 2022 Luckily, the designer and her team had plenty of ideas—such as turning a closet into a bathroom. Ann Abel, House Beautiful, 21 Apr. 2022 There’s also a mini closet system off to one side for hanging a few clothing items. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, 21 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For example, when a chic, closet staple brand puts some of their most beloved and coveted styles and shades on sale with serious discounts. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 16 Feb. 2022 Electric vehicles are no longer some weird damp closet the AV team hides in anymore. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 26 Dec. 2021 Anyone interested in donating can contact their school’s clothes closet representative for additional information. Teri Webster, Dallas News, 30 Aug. 2021 Pay for certain specialized finishing contractors — folks who install items from draperies to closet organizers — is up 17 percent this year, to $1,075 a week. Washington Post, 15 June 2021 As the pestilence spreads, people grow fearful of one another; families closet themselves in their houses. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, 24 Mar. 2021 The list includes everything from a doorman and a super to closet space and a dishwasher. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, 6 Oct. 2020 Supernatural exists in a world where angels rock trench coats, demons roam freely, and that thing in your kids closet? Samantha Highfill,, 5 Oct. 2020 The asteroid – 2020 SW – will be closet to Earth around 7:18 a.m. EDTaccording to EarthSky. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, 23 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Blue Note club, offering up his own perspective on the post-closet experience by coming out about coming out. Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of closet


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1637, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for closet


Middle English, from Anglo-French closett, diminutive of clos enclosure — more at close

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Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Closet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for closet


clos·​et | \ ˈklä-zət How to pronounce closet (audio) \

Kids Definition of closet

: a small room for clothing or for supplies for the house a clothes closet

More from Merriam-Webster on closet

Nglish: Translation of closet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of closet for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about closet


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