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

The master suite has a bathroom that features dual showers and his-and-her closets. Ebony Day, azcentral, "5 Paradise Valley homes sell for more than $2M," 9 Sep. 2019 The master bedroom and its closet had been ransacked. La Cañada Valley Sun, "Crime Report: 2 Highland Drive homes ransacked the same day," 4 Sep. 2019 His bedroom closet in his parents’ home in Longwood, Florida, contained more than 20 football jerseys – of which his favorite was Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick’s. Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland lacrosse’s Jared Bernhardt ‘missed’ football, which he will pursue next year," 31 Aug. 2019 Or put them in a safe that is firmly affixed to the studs inside your closet and locked with a combination lock or a fingerprint recognition system. Leslie Sargent Eskildsen, The Mercury News, "Secure your valuables when listing your home for sale," 26 Aug. 2019 The Fallbrook author’s twisty 2006 novel begins with a dead body under a San Diego bridge and goes on to poke at the skeletons in our civic closet. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: 10 great books set in San Diego will put local spin on your lit list," 23 Aug. 2019 It can be tucked behind a vanity, half wall or in a larger bathroom in its own closet. Vanessa Vacek, Houston Chronicle, "GHBA Remodelers Council: Get ready to remodel your bathroom," 17 Aug. 2019 King was at Hudson’s apartment on the day police found her body in her bedroom closet. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Cleveland, Cuyahoga County settle with man who did 23 years for murder conviction that was overturned," 16 Aug. 2019 Large master suite with his & her closets, and a full bath with dual sinks. Ramona Sentinel, "Home of the Week - 1495 H Street Ramona," 18 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Many men caught in these entrapment schemes were closeted and accepted fines and plea deals rather than fight charges in a public trial, where they could be outed and harassed. Sidney Fussell, The Atlantic, "How Stonewall Reversed a Long History of Justifying Police Surveillance," 29 June 2019 For his part, Bash was freaked out after his former butler Florian (Alex Rich) died from AIDs, implying that Bash loved him as more than a friend and his fears were keeping him closeted. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "Everything you need to remember about GLOW before watching season 3," 8 Aug. 2019 Some who are high-functioning may keep their conditions closeted for fear of losing professional employment, or for fear of being a target for bullying. Jack Bragen, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Those of us with psychiatric illness deserve opportunity," 11 July 2019 Gay writers, some open and others closeted, but all writing of desire, its pleasures and complications, its consequences, its longings, its losses. Andrew Martin, Harper's magazine, "Not Mere Projection," 10 Mar. 2019 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

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

12 Sep 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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