closet

noun
clos·​et | \ˈklä-zət, 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from closet

Noun

closetful \-​ˌfu̇l \ 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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the film, Jude (Travis Tope) and June (Hayley Ramm) step into a secret closet together while playing a party game similar to SMIH. Nicole Weaver, Teen Vogue, "New Scary Movie "Seven in Heaven" Is a Creepy Twist on the Classic Kissing Game," 10 Oct. 2018 Gillespie had managed to escape, running first into a closet near the front doors, but after realizing there was no lock on it, racing outside the building. Jean Marbella, baltimoresun.com, "Capital Gazette shooting: How a quiet day in the newsroom was shattered," 1 July 2018 Harlan allegedly stole Minkler’s wallet and helped cover the body in plastic and drag it into a closet, according to the Las Vegas Sun. Gabby Ferreira, sacbee, "'Bro, I just caught a body.' Teens arrested in suspected Russian roulette shooting death," 14 June 2018 Jasmine, played by Vivica A. Fox, leaps into a tunnel service closet with her son and dog Boomer, narrowly escaping the fiery wave. Angela Fritz, chicagotribune.com, "The Guatemala volcano's pyroclastic flow killed dozens. 'It is universally deadly,' scientists say.," 5 June 2018 Now a week later, that sign was in his house, tucked into the closet of a bedroom where Moriah had been spending much of her time, with her door closed, since the protest. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Mariah Engdahl, Age 16: The Only Gun Control Advocate in Gillette, Wyoming," 23 May 2018 Marshall turned and ran, through the closet and toward the other room. Susan Carroll, David Hunn And Emily Foxhall, San Antonio Express-News, "Terrifying minutes in Santa Fe class room changed lives forever," 20 May 2018 At 12, after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, she was struck with fear that not everyone in her class could cram into a closet if a gunman rampaged through into her school. Anchorage Daily News, "A day of student protests to end gun violence: ‘If people across the country are taking action, I want to be a part of that’," 20 Apr. 2018 Smith’s security pushed him into a closet to wait out the commotion — and who else should be inside but the King of Pop himself. Mary Kate Carr, EW.com, "Listen to Will Smith's story about the first and only time he met Michael Jackson," 19 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Beyond the decision to stay closeted, Play to Win also found that LGBTQ youth participate in sports at a much lower rate than other teens. Nyssa Kruse, courant.com, "LGBTQ Youth Fear Discrimination in Sports, UConn Research Says," 21 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of closet

Noun

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

Verb

1595, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

circa 1615, 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about closet

Statistics for closet

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for closet

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for closet

closet

noun

English Language Learners Definition of closet

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: 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 \

Kids Definition of closet

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on closet

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!