Definition of closet in English:
- Spare bedrooms or large closets make good drying rooms, but hot attics and damp cellars generally do not.
- Houses that don't have catch-all closets or rooms in which the inhabitants can dump outdoor stuff always seem sinister to me.
- Close doors to rooms that don't need to be heated, like closets, storage rooms, etc.
- Another described the huts of hermits on remote islands off the coast of Ireland and asked if I was constructing a prayer closet.
- And since last night, the bearded mentor had sequestered himself in his prayer closet, taking only water as he fasted.
- She placed the belongings in an empty cubbyhole in the private closet with a label indicating the pile's owners.
- It's time for lesbian breakups to come out of the closet.
- It is a symbol of the strength it takes for gay Americans to come out of the closet, and the strength of all who support them.
- An obvious, but often overlooked, fact about assimilation is that it can only occur once gay people have actually come out of the closet.
adjective[attributive] Back to top
- There may be closet homosexuals but they are not to be relied upon.
- The church has been ordaining closet homosexuals for 2000 years, but it seems to have problems ordaining honest ones.
- He's obviously terrible in bed, and there's one scene that suggests he's a closet homosexual - so what's to admire?
verb (closets, closeting, closeted)[with object] Back to top
- She added: ‘We have all been so affected by the tragedy that we risk closeting our kids and raising a generation of very nervous young adults.’
- He responded by closeting himself in the former ladies' cabin of the steamer Magnolia while he poured over maps pondering the situation.
- I guess it was time for me to sulk about the house of the rest of the evening, closeting myself away in my room listening to music.
Although closet is now the usual word in American English for a cupboard or wardrobe, it originally referred to a small private room, such as one for study or prayer. This idea of privacy led to the sense of hiding a fact or keeping something secret, which goes right back to the beginning of the 17th century. A person who is hiding the fact that they are gay has been described as in the closet, or as a closet homosexual, since the late 1960s. To out someone, meaning to reveal that they are gay, is a shortened way of saying ‘to force them out of the closet’. Closet comes from close (Middle English), which both in the sense ‘near’ and ‘shut’ go back to Latin claudere ‘to shut’, also the source of recluse (Middle English), someone who shuts themselves away.
Words that rhyme with closetposit
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.