Definition of enclave in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈenˌklāv/
Pronunciation: /ˈäNGˌklāv/


1A portion of territory within or surrounded by a larger territory whose inhabitants are culturally or ethnically distinct.
Example sentences
  • Deep suspicions and fears continue to divide the people into ethnic enclaves.
  • Should we instead be encouraging the foundation of a series of autonomous, loosely interdependent ethnic enclaves?
  • For example, not all immigrants resided in ethnic enclaves close to ethnic retail outlets.
1.1A place or group that is different in character from those surrounding it: the engineering department is traditionally a male enclave
More example sentences
  • However, while large parts of the world continue to be enclaves of extreme hardship and poverty, despair will take root.
  • The novella is about masculine middle-age, with Victorian males hurrying into their enclaves or laboratories to escape all kinds of ever-present threats, such as the new woman.
  • Some people decamp to quieter beautiful places, enclaves still not discovered, off the beaten path.


Mid 19th century: from French, from Old French enclaver 'enclose, dovetail', based on Latin clavis 'key'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: en·clave

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