Word of the Day : October 2, 2018


verb KLOY-ster


1 : to seclude from the world in or as if in a cloister

2 : to surround with a cloister

Did You Know?

Cloister first entered the English language as a noun in the 13th century; it referred then (as it still does) to a convent or monastery. More than three centuries later, English speakers began using the verb cloister to mean "to seclude in or as if in a cloister." Today, the noun can also refer to the monastic life or to a covered and usually arched passage along or around a court. You may also encounter cloistered with the meaning "surrounded with a covered passage," as in "cloistered gardens." Cloister ultimately derives from the Latin verb claudere, meaning "to close." Other words that can be traced back to the prolific claudere include close, conclude, exclude, include, preclude, seclude, and recluse.


"They share a desire to let their daughters have a normal childhood. Even as [Nicole] Kidman refuses to discuss them in detail ('Sunday jumps on things if she hears someone at school talking about something I said'), she doesn't want to cloister them either." — John Powers, Vogue, September 2017

"It differs from traditional artist-in-residence programs in that founder Jessica Moss wanted to emphasize artists helping develop skills and activation in the community, rather than being cloistered away to create." — Emiene Wright, The Charlotte (North Carolina) Observer, 27 Aug. 2018

Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete a word for a sheltered place (as in a cloister) for walking: _ m _ _ la _ o _ y.



More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!