AskDefine | Define cloister

Dictionary Definition



1 residence that is a place of religious seclusion (such as a monastery) [syn: religious residence]
2 a courtyard with covered walks (as in religious institutions)


1 surround with a cloister, as of a garden
2 seclude from the world in or as if in a cloister; "She cloistered herself in the office"

User Contributed Dictionary



  • a RP /ˈklɔɪstə/, /"klOIst@/
  • a US , /ˈklɔɪstɚ/, /"klOIst@r/
  • Rhymes with: -ɔɪstə(r)


From cloistre, from claustrum, from claudere ‘to close’.


  1. A covered walk with an open colonnade on one side, running along the walls of buildings that face a quadrangle.
  2. A place, especially a monastery or convent, devoted to religious seclusion; life in such a place.


A covered walk with an open colonnade on one side
place devoted to religious seclusion
  • Bosnian: manastir
  • Chinese:
    Mandarin: (xiūdàoyuàn)
  • Croatian: manastir, samostan
  • Czech: klášter
  • German: Kloster
  • Greek: μοναστήρι
  • Hungarian: kolostor, zárda
  • Russian: монастырь
  • Serbian:
    Cyrillic: манастир
    Roman: manastir


  1. To become a Roman Catholic religious.
  2. To confine in a cloister, voluntarily or not.
  3. To deliberately withdraw from worldly things.
  4. To protect or isolate.

Related terms

See also

Extensive Definition

A cloister (from Latin claustrum) is a part of cathedral, monastic and abbey architecture. A cloister consists usually of four corridors, with a courtyard or garth in the middle. It is intended to be both covered from the rain, but open to the air. The attachment of a cloister to a Cathedral church usually indicates that it is (or was once) a monastic foundation.
Cloistered (or "Claustral") life is also another name for the life of a monk or nun in the enclosed religious orders; the modern English term enclosure is used in contemporary Catholic church law to mean cloistered, and cloister is sometimes used as a synonym for monastery.
In medieval times, cloisters served the primary function of quiet meditation or study gardens.
The worldwide biggest cloister (12000 m²) is in the Certosa di Padula in southern Italy.

See also


cloister in Breton: Kloastr
cloister in Catalan: Claustre
cloister in Czech: Křížová chodba
cloister in German: Kreuzgang
cloister in Spanish: Claustro
cloister in Esperanto: Klostro
cloister in French: Cloître
cloister in Galician: Claustro
cloister in Italian: Chiostro
cloister in Hebrew: קלויסטר
cloister in Luxembourgish: Kräizgank
cloister in Dutch: Kloostergang
cloister in Japanese: 回廊
cloister in Norwegian: Korsgang
cloister in Polish: Krużganek
cloister in Portuguese: Claustro
cloister in Swedish: Korsgång
cloister in Thai: ระเบียงคด
cloister in Chinese: 回廊

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Easter sepulcher, abbey, access, adytum, aisle, alley, ambry, ambulatory, aperture, apse, arcade, areaway, artery, ashram, avenue, baptistery, blindstory, bottle up, box in, box up, breezeway, cabin, cage, casket, cell, chancel, channel, check, choir, cloisters, closet, coffin, colonnade, communication, conduit, confessional, confessionary, confine, connection, constrain, convent, coop, coop in, coop up, cork up, corridor, covered way, cramp, crib, crypt, defile, den, detain, diaconicon, diaconicum, encage, encase, enclose, entomb, exit, fence in, ferry, ford, friary, gallery, hall, hallway, hem in, hermitage, hideaway, hideout, hiding place, hold, hold in custody, hold in restraint, holy of holies, house, immure, impound, inhibit, inlet, interchange, intersection, ivory tower, junction, keep in, keep in custody, keep in detention, lair, lamasery, lane, loggia, mew, mew up, monastery, nave, nunnery, opening, outlet, overpass, pass, passage, passageway, pen, pen up, pergola, peristyle, porch, portico, pound, presbytery, priorate, priory, privacy, rail in, railroad tunnel, recess, restrain, restrict, retreat, rood loft, rood stair, rood tower, sacrarium, sacristy, sanctum, sanctum sanctorum, seal up, secret place, shackle, shut in, shut up, straiten, traject, trajet, transept, triforium, tunnel, underpass, vestry, wall in
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1