closet

noun
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

closet

verb
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

closet

adjective

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

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Other Words from closet

Noun

closetful \ ˈklä-​zət-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce closetful (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Authorities have previously said Hobson locked up the children in a closet for days without food, water or access to a bathroom. Anita Snow, The Seattle Times, "Woman with YouTube channel pleads not guilty to abusing kids," 29 Mar. 2019 In August 2016, 11-year-old Yonatan Daniel Aguilar was found dead, battered and malnourished in a closet of his family's tiny Echo Park home. Richard Winton, latimes.com, "Authorities had previously visited home where boy was found dead under suspicious circumstances," 22 June 2018 Hearing gunshots, Gordley abandoned his toy Legos to hide in a closet until police came and walked him past his father’s body. Krista Torralva, San Antonio Express-News, "Teen overcomes tragedies, homelessness to graduate from high school," 29 May 2018 From finding mouse droppings in your closet to potential kitchen thievery, the whole shudder-inducing situation is a big fat disaster that homeowners or renters never want to deal with. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "How to Get Rid of Mice: The Ultimate Guide to a Rodent-Free Home," 28 Mar. 2019 These shoppers buy high-end pieces, wear them a few times and then rent them to others instead of leaving them to collect dust in their closets. Lane Florsheim, WSJ, "Is the Future of the Sharing Economy Airbnbing Your Clothes?," 29 Nov. 2018 In this episode of Beauty Stash, BAZAAR.com Senior Beauty Editor Jenna Rosenstein gets a tour of Marjan's hair closets and glam room. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Go Inside Celebrity Hairstylist Justine Marjan's Massive Beauty Stash," 28 Mar. 2019 Clothes moths naturally like closets and wardrobes, with the caterpillars relying on natural fibers like linen, wool, silk, or fur for sustenance. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Rid of Moths in Every Part of Your Home, According to Experts," 13 Mar. 2019 When disassembled, the DMOS shovel is small enough to fit in a closet, on a shelf, or in the trunk of your car, making it the true go-anywhere tool. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "Here's the Only Shovel You'll Ever Need," 1 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The two are brought together when Pale’s brother, Robbie, a gay dancer who is closeted to his family and close to Anna, dies in a boating accident. Jason Zinoman, Vogue, "In Burn This, Adam Driver and Keri Russell Find Love in a Hopeless Place," 15 Apr. 2019 Terrified and in agony over her closeted life, J.J. attempted suicide, and the entire game is a sort of near-death fever dream where J.J.’s identity swims between liminal spaces — closeted and out, alive and dead, whole and in literal pieces. Julie Muncy, The Verge, "This queer horror game forces you to literally tear yourself apart," 8 Nov. 2018 Without much money for TV commercials, that’s one way Allen can gain traction in California’s liberal territory: word-of-mouth from one closeted conservative to another. Joe Garofoli is The San Francisco Chronicle’s senior political writer. Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, "Closeted conservatives come out in the Bay Area to campaign for a Republican," 26 Apr. 2018 Historically, gay bars have been side-street hideaways, architecturally closeted warrens of secrecy. Richard Morgan, New York Times, "The Inevitable Rise of the Gay Hooters," 21 June 2018 Always be mindful of how your office conversations could affect a closeted or more reticent coworker. Nick Levine, GQ, "How to Be Gay at Work," 14 June 2018 By the end of the day, the homeless women had met their new roommates, signed their rental agreements, washed and closeted their clothes and fought back tears reading the welcome notes waiting for them on their new beds. Doug Smith, latimes.com, "A Venice couple is housing homeless people, one small building at a time," 8 June 2018 Montour, who grew up in Worcester and was closeted until age 40, now has a large group of friends. Robert Weisman, BostonGlobe.com, "Gay boomers look ahead to an old age colored by uncertainty and the help of friends," 9 June 2018 For Berlanti, who is openly gay himself and grew up closeted until his early 20s, the film is a labor of love. Rob Ledonne, Billboard, "'Love, Simon' Music, From Deep Cuts to Surprise Global Hits," 16 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of closet

Noun

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

Verb

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

circa 1637, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for closet

Noun

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

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Statistics for closet

Last Updated

9 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for closet

The first known use of closet was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for closet

closet

noun

English Language Learners Definition of closet

 (Entry 1 of 3)

chiefly US : a usually small room that is used for storing things (such as clothing, towels, or dishes)
: a state in which someone will not talk about something or admit something especially : a state in which someone will not admit being a homosexual

closet

verb

English Language Learners Definition of closet (Entry 2 of 3)

: to put (yourself) in a room in order to be alone
: to bring (someone) into a room in order to talk privately

closet

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of closet (Entry 3 of 3)

: hiding the fact that you are a particular type of person

closet

noun
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on closet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with closet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for closet

Spanish Central: Translation of closet

Nglish: Translation of closet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of closet for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about closet

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