Definition of cloister in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkloistər/


Image of cloister
1A covered walk in a convent, monastery, college, or cathedral, typically with a wall on one side and a colonnade open to a quadrangle on the other.
Example sentences
  • In Carthusian houses the individual cells occupied by members of the community open from the cloister walk.
  • A trumpet sounded through the sun-bathed cloisters of Manchester Cathedral after the coffin of Stephen Oake was borne in by six pall-bearers yesterday.
  • Hundreds of us occupied the cathedral cloisters and held a short rally.
walkway, covered walk, arcade, loggia, gallery
1.1 (the cloister) Monastic life: he was inclined more to the cloister than the sword
More example sentences
  • Jedidah, before you commit yourself to the cloisters, we want to give you a choice.
  • When we meet Jesus in the medieval West, it is, in these and other ways, most often as the Christ of the cloisters.
  • This embrace of the mystical dimension of faith does not require withdrawal to the cloister or a privatized Christianity.
1.2A convent or monastery.
Example sentences
  • Sometimes Behrens recalls these stories from the vantage point of the monastic cloister.
  • The setting is revolutionary France and a cloister of Carmelite nuns.
  • There were many famous cloisters in Byzantium where such women placed themselves at the service of society as a whole.
abbey, monastery, friary, convent, priory, nunnery


[with object]
Seclude or shut up in or as if in a convent or monastery: the monastery was where the Brothers would cloister themselves to meditate she cloisters herself at home
More example sentences
  • His skin sensed the suffocating stillness of the confessional as he heard the thick curtain sway close behind him, cloistering him inside the booth.
  • ‘He's uncomfortable with it, so I tend to do it secretly, when I'm alone in the house or by cloistering myself in the bathroom,’ she admits.
  • In this house they can cloister their passion freely since Maggie and Adam have in a sense pushed them together.



Pronunciation: /ˈkloistrəl/
Example sentences
  • This building from the first quarter of the 18th century became home to a century-old cloistral tradition.
  • In the baroque atmosphere of the cloistral reading room you can enjoy exclusive dinners or cultural highlights.
  • Many generations have listened to this tale of a young girl high in her cloistral tower lowering her beautiful hair on command to an enchantress.


Middle English (in the sense 'place of religious seclusion'): from Old French cloistre, from Latin claustrum, clostrum 'lock, enclosed place', from claudere 'to close'.

Words that rhyme with cloister

hoister, oyster, roister
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