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



Definition of recluse (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who leads a secluded or solitary life

Synonyms for recluse

Synonyms: Noun

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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 His touching friendship with venerable recluse author William Forrester, played immaculately by Sean Connery, is central to the film’s appeal. Keith Nelson, Men's Health, 29 July 2022 Salem actor Seth Gabel will portray Walter, a recluse living in the Montana wilderness. Adrianna Freedman, Good Housekeeping, 24 July 2022 The trilogy has seen Jamie Lee Curtis reprise her role as Laurie Strode, the survivor of Michael Myers’ (played by Nick Castle and stuntman James Jude Courtney) original killing spree, now a recluse struggling with PTSD. Wilson Chapman, Variety, 19 July 2022 In 2014, a 5-year-old Albertville boy died after a brown recluse bite caused a systemic reaction. Dennis Pillion |, al, 8 July 2022 Instead, writers Earl and Hayward gently underscore the recluse’s isolation through bittersweet details of his humble daily life, adding a healthy dose of humorously deadpan Britishness into the mix to winning effect. Tomris Laffly, Variety, 15 June 2022 The target was a 29-year-old recluse who shared a two-bedroom apartment in Jerusalem with his mother. Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2022 Brown recluse spiders prefer debris and woodpiles, though they may also be found inside in places like closets, under furniture or near baseboards. Jamie Kim, Good Housekeeping, 29 Apr. 2022 This transit is only temporary, so don't worry about becoming a recluse! Tarot Astrologers,, 25 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of recluse


13th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for recluse


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 entry 1

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

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Cite this Entry

“Recluse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on recluse

Nglish: Translation of recluse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of recluse for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about recluse


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