recluse

adjective
re·​cluse | \ ˈre-ˌklüs How to pronounce recluse (audio) , ri-ˈklüs, ˈre-ˌklüz How to pronounce recluse (audio) \

Definition of recluse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: marked by withdrawal from society : solitary

recluse

noun

Definition of recluse (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who leads a secluded or solitary life

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Synonyms for recluse

Synonyms: Noun

anchorite, eremite, hermit, isolate, solitary

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Did You Know?

Greta Garbo and Howard Hughes were two of the most famously reclusive celebrities of modern times. She had been a great international star, called the most beautiful woman in the world; he had been an aircraft manufacturer and film producer, with one of the greatest fortunes in the world. It seems that Garbo's reclusiveness resulted from her desire to leave her public with only the youthful image of her face. Hughes was terrified of germs, though that was the least of his problems.

Examples of recluse in a Sentence

Noun

My neighbor is a recluse—I only see him about once a year. he was sick of cities and crowds, so he decided to go live by himself in the woods as a recluse

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Bernstein stressed Bacall was far from a recluse and instead, enjoyed her life beyond Hollywood’s glitz and glam. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Leonard Bernstein's daughter says pal Lauren Bacall 'was not a shut-in' after Humphrey Bogart's death in new memoir," 13 Sep. 2018 Release: January 18, 2019 Preliminary verdict: Looks promising In 2016, M. Night Shyamalan released Split, an unassuming psychological thriller starring James McAvoy as a recluse suffering from split personality disorder. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "The 2019 Sci-Fi Film Guide," 3 Jan. 2019 One of the supporters of Edwards who provided the funds, Fred Baron, had died, and the other, Bunny Mellon, was a 101-year-old recluse prosecutors did not seek to drag into the courtroom as a witness. Charlie Savage, The Seattle Times, "Trump lays out a defense for potential campaign-finance crimes," 10 Dec. 2018 At age 16, Jerry Torre became the unlikely handyman and close friend to the recluse aunt of Jackie Kennedy Onassis and her daughter who at the time were living in a crumbling East Hampton, N.Y., estate. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Jackie Kennedy Onassis was 'horrified' of recluse aunt, cousin living in crumbling Grey Gardens, book claims," 12 Sep. 2018 Clearly, Santopietro identifies more with Scout, Jem and Dill than with, say, Boo Radley, the town recluse who probably wouldn’t yearn for that simpler time when the townspeople regarded him with open distance and mistrust. New York Times, "Lots of People Love ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ Roxane Gay Isn’t One of Them.," 18 June 2018 Brown recluse Similar to the black widow, brown recluse spiders also have a distinct marking. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Brown recluse, black widow and other dangerous spiders found in the US," 10 July 2018 The painting is one of the most important of the works bequeathed to the Kunstmuseum Bern by Mr. Gurlitt, a recluse who hoarded about 1,500 artworks, some looted by the Nazis, in his homes in Munich and Salzburg, Austria. New York Times, "French and Swiss Museums to Share a Cézanne With a Murky Past," 3 July 2018 Their venom is not very dangerous to humans, unlike that of a brown recluse. Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "5 of Michigan's scariest-looking spiders: What to know," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recluse.' 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 recluse

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for recluse

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French reclus, literally, shut away, from Late Latin reclusus, past participle of recludere to shut up, from Latin re- + claudere to close — more at close

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Learn More about recluse

Dictionary Entries near recluse

recloser

reclosure

reclothe

recluse

reclusion

reclusive

recm

Statistics for recluse

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Time Traveler for recluse

The first known use of recluse was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for recluse

recluse

noun

English Language Learners Definition of recluse

: a person who lives alone and avoids other people

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Comments on recluse

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