Definition of enclave
- ethnic enclaves
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These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enclave.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Looking for the keys to the etymology of enclave? You'll find them in French and Latin. English speakers borrowed "enclave" from French in the 19th century. The French noun derives in turn from the Middle French verb enclaver, meaning to "enclose." "Enclaver" itself can be traced to the Latin prefix in- and the Latin noun clavis, meaning "key." "Clavis" opened the door to a few other English words, some of which might seem unlikely relatives of "enclave." "Clavicle," the word for the bone that joins the breastbone and the shoulder blade, comes from "clavis," as does the musical sign "clef."
: an area with people who are different in some way from the people in the areas around it
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