ex·​clave ˈek-ˌsklāv How to pronounce exclave (audio)
: a portion of a country separated from the main part and constituting an enclave in respect to the surrounding territory

Did you know?

You probably won't be surprised to learn that the key to "exclave" is found in "enclave." "Enclave" itself ultimately derives from the Latin word for "key," which is "clavis." It was adopted in the mid-19th century from Middle French enclaver ("to enclose"), which in turn derives (through Vulgar Latin) from in- and clavis. "Exclave" was formed about twenty years later by combining the prefix ex- and the "-clave" of "enclave." Other "clavis" descendants in English include "autoclave," "clavicle," "conclave," and "clavichord" ("an early keyboard instrument in use before the piano").

Examples of exclave in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Baku is currently demanding that Yerevan agree to the establishment of a corridor through Armenian territory that would connect Azerbaijan to Nakhchivan, an exclave of Azerbaijan jammed between Iran, Armenia, and Turkey. Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar, Foreign Affairs, 10 Apr. 2023 Lithuania accused Moscow of waging a propaganda battle and taking a threatening stance in a standoff over Vilnius restricting the transit of sanctioned goods to the Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad. Bloomberg.com, 23 June 2022 Russia has released a U.S. Navy veteran who apparently illegally crossed the border from Poland into the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad last year and was held there for nine months. Los Angeles Times, 13 Jan. 2023 The exclave’s international airport will soon be accepting regular commercial flights from the Middle East, Mr. Blaszczak said. Drew Hinshaw, WSJ, 2 Nov. 2022 The exclave operates as a special economic zone with low taxes, although Western sanctions have hurt its economy. Rachel Pannett, Washington Post, 21 June 2022 But if in the future the route becomes viable, the magical journey to Turkey via the ancient city of Nakhchivan (in a disconnected exclave of Azerbaijan) should once again be a major trade and tourism corridor. Mark Elliott, CNN, 16 Dec. 2022 Polish soldiers install barbed wire along the border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, near Szyliny village, north-eastern Poland, on Wednesday. NBC News, 16 Nov. 2022 Earlier this month, Polish soldiers began laying coils of razor wire on the border with Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave wedged between Poland and Lithuania. Vanessa Gera, ajc, 17 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'exclave.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


ex- + -clave (as in enclave)

First Known Use

1888, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of exclave was in 1888


Dictionary Entries Near exclave

Cite this Entry

“Exclave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exclave. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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