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Cloister definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

CLOISTER, n.
1. Literally, a close; a close, or inclosed place. A monastery or nunnery; a house inhabited by monks or nuns. In a more limited sense, the principal part of a regular monastery, consisting of a square, erected between the church, the chapter-house and the refectory, and over which is the dormitory. The proper use of the cloister is for the monks to meet in for conversation. The cloister is square, and has its name from being inclosed on its four sides with buildings. Hence in architecture, a building is said to be in the form of a cloister, when there are buildings on each of the four sides of the court.
2. A peristyle; a piazza.
CLOISTER, v.t.
1. To confine in a cloister or monastery.
2. To shut up; to confine closely within walls; to immure; to shut up in retirement from the world.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

n
1: residence that is a place of religious seclusion (such as a monastery) [syn: religious residence, cloister]
2: a courtyard with covered walks (as in religious institutions) v
1: surround with a cloister, as of a garden
2: surround with a cloister; "cloister the garden"
3: seclude from the world in or as if in a cloister; "She cloistered herself in the office"

Merriam Webster's

I. noun Etymology: Middle English cloistre, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin claustrum, from Latin, bar, bolt, from claudere to close more at close Date: 13th century 1. a. a monastic establishment b. an area within a monastery or convent to which the religious are normally restricted c. monastic life d. a place or state of seclusion 2. a covered passage on the side of a court usually having one side walled and the other an open arcade or colonnade II. transitive verb (cloistered; cloistering) Date: 1581 1. to seclude from the world in or as if in a cloister <a scientist who cloisters herself in a laboratory> 2. to surround with a cloister <cloistered gardens>

Britannica Concise

Four-sided enclosure surrounded by covered walkways and usually attached to a monastic or cathedral church; also, the walkways themselves. The earliest cloisters were open arcades, usually with sloping wooden roofs. This form was generally superseded in England by a range of windows lighting a vaulted ambulatory (aisle). In S climates, the open-arcaded cloister remained standard. An especially fine example is D. Bramante's two-story open arcade at Santa Maria della Pace, Rome (1500-4).

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. & v. --n. 1 a covered walk, often with a wall on one side and a colonnade open to a quadrangle on the other, esp. in a convent, monastery, college, or cathedral. 2 monastic life or seclusion. 3 a convent or monastery. --v.tr. seclude or shut up usu. in a convent or monastery. Derivatives: cloistral adj. Etymology: ME f. OF cloistre f. L claustrum, clostrum lock, enclosed place f. claudere claus- CLOSE(2)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Cloister Clois"ter, n. [OF. cloistre, F. clo[^i]tre, L. claustrum, pl. claustra, bar, bolt, bounds, fr. claudere, clausum, to close. See Close, v. t., and cf. Claustral.] 1. An inclosed place. [Obs.] --Chaucer. 2. A covered passage or ambulatory on one side of a court; (pl.) the series of such passages on the different sides of any court, esp. that of a monastery or a college. But let my due feet never fail To walk the studious cloister's pale. --Milton. 3. A monastic establishment; a place for retirement from the world for religious duties. Fitter for a cloister than a crown. --Daniel. Cloister garth (Arch.), the garden or open part of a court inclosed by the cloisters. Syn: Cloister, Monastery, Nunnery, Convent, Abbey, Priory. Usage: Cloister and convent are generic terms, and denote a place of seclusion from the world for persons who devote their lives to religious purposes. They differ is that the distinctive idea of cloister is that of seclusion from the world, that of convent, community of living. Both terms denote houses for recluses of either sex. A cloister or convent for monks is called a monastery; for nuns, a nunnery. An abbey is a convent or monastic institution governed by an abbot or an abbess; a priory is one governed by a prior or a prioress, and is usually affiliated to an abbey.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Cloister Clois"ter, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Cloistered; p. pr. & vb. n. Cloistering.] To confine in, or as in, a cloister; to seclude from the world; to immure. None among them are thought worthy to be styled religious persons but those that cloister themselves up in a monastery. --Sharp.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(cloisters) A cloister is a covered area round a square in a monastery or a cathedral. N-COUNT

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. 1. Convent-walk, abbey-walk, arched ambulatory. 2. Convent, monastery, abbey, nunnery, priory. 3. Arcade, colonnade, colonnaded court, piazza.

Moby Thesaurus

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