See also: clóset

English

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Etymology

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From Middle English closet, from Old French closet, from clos (private space) +‎ -et (forming diminutives), from Latin clausum. Equivalent to close +‎ -et, but generally applied in French solely to small open-air enclosures.[1]

Pronunciation

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Noun

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closet (plural closets)

  1. A small room within a house used to store clothing, food, or other household supplies.
  2. (obsolete) Any private space, (particularly) bowers in the open air.
  3. (now rare) Any private or inner room, (particularly):
    • 1765, [Oliver] Goldsmith, The Haunch of Venison, a Poetical Epistle to Lord Clare, Dublin: [] W. Whitestone, [], published 1776, →OCLC, page 9:
      VVhen come to the place vvhere vve all vvere to dine, / (A chair-lumber'd Cloſet, juſt tvvelve feet by nine) / My friend bid me vvelcome, but ſtruck me quite dumb / VVith tidings that Johnson and Burke coud not come: []
    1. (obsolete) A private room used by women to groom and dress themselves.
      • 1530, John Palsgrave, Lesclarcissement, page 206:
        Closet for a lady to make her redy in, chamberette.
    2. (archaic) A private room used for prayer or other devotions.
    3. (figuratively, archaic) A place of (usually, fanciful) contemplation and theorizing.
      • 1594–1597, Richard Hooker, chapter 24, in J[ohn] S[penser], editor, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie, [], London: [] Will[iam] Stansby [for Matthew Lownes], published 1611, →OCLC, (please specify the page):
        [A]broad and at home, at their Tables or in their Closets []
    4. (archaic) The private residence or private council chamber of a monarch.
  4. (obsolete) A pew or side-chapel reserved for a monarch or other feudal lord.
  5. A private cabinet, (particularly):
    1. (obsolete) One used to store valuables.
    2. (archaic) One used to store curiosities.
      • 1659, Elias Ashmole, Diary, page 326:
        Mr. Tradescant and his wife told me they had been long considering upon whom to bestow their closet of curiosities when they died.
      • 1681, Marquis of Halifax, Seasonable Addresses to the Houses of Parliament in Concise Succession, page 10:
        The late House of Commons have... seiz'd Closets and Writings without Information.
    3. (figuratively) A secret or hiding place, (particularly) the hiding place in English idioms such as in the closet and skeleton in the closet.
      The closet can be a scary place for a gay teenager.
      He's so far in the closet, he can see Narnia.
    4. (slang, uncommon) Clipping of closet case.
  6. (now chiefly Scotland, Ireland) Any small room or side room.
    1. (US, Philippines) One intended for storing clothes or bedclothes.
    2. (obsolete) Clipping of closet of ease, (later, UK) clipping of water closet: a room containing a toilet.
  7. (heraldry) An ordinary similar to a bar but half as broad.
    Coordinate term: barrulet
  8. (Scotland, obsolete) A sewer.
  9. A state or condition of secrecy, privacy, or obscurity.
    1. The state of having one's sexual orientation a secret.
      • 1985 August 24, Michael Bronski, “Rock Hudson: The Great Gay Hope”, in Gay Community News, volume 13, number 7, page 15:
        6 o'clock TV news specials concerning a famous Hollywood movie star who has been diagnosed with [AIDS]. It had to happen sooner or later. (In fact it probably has happened sooner, but the tenor of the times and the closets of the people were no doubt more secure.)
  10. (archaic) A compendium of knowledge, possibly from closet as a room?
    • 1669, Kenelm Digby, The closet of the eminently learned Sir Kenelm Digbie Kt. opened: Whereby is discovered several ways for making of metheglin, sider, cherry-wine &c. together with excellent directions for cookery: as also for preserving, conserving, candying, &c.:
    • 1670, Hannah Woolley, The Queen-like Closet, Or, Rich Cabinet: Stored with all manner of RARE RECEIPTS For Preserving, Candying and Cookery Very Pleasant and Beneficial to all Ingenious Persons of the FEMALE SEX.:

Synonyms

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Hyponyms

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Derived terms

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Descendants

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  • Czech: klozet
  • Polish: klozet
  • Spanish: clóset
  • Welsh: closet

Translations

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Adjective

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closet (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Private.
  2. Closeted, secret (especially with reference to gay people who are in the closet).
    He's a closet case.
    • 1940, Walton Hall Smith with Ferdinand Christian Helwig, Liquor, the servant of man:
      I wonder if there is another in the world that could produce, among perfectly normal people, this strangest quirk in the agenda of liquordom, the closet drinker.
  3. Denoting anything kept a secret or private.

See also

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Verb

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closet (third-person singular simple present closets, present participle closeting, simple past and past participle closeted)

  1. (transitive) To shut away for private discussion.
    The ambassador has been closeted with the prime minister all afternoon. We're all worried what will be announced when they exit.
  2. (transitive) To put into a private place for a secret interview or interrogation.
    • 1834–1874, George Bancroft, History of the United States, from the Discovery of the American Continent, volume (please specify |volume=I to X), Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown and Company [et al.], →OCLC:
      He was to call a new legislature, to closet its members.
    • 1856–1870, James Anthony Froude, History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth, volumes (please specify |volume=I to XII), London: Longmans, Green, and Co., →OCLC:
      He had been closeted with De Quadra.
  3. (transitive) To shut up in, or as in, a closet for concealment or confinement.
    • 1784, William Cowper, Tirocinium, or A Review of Schools[1]:
      See what contempt is fallen on human kind; [] See Bedlam's closeted and handcuff'd charge / Surpass'd in frenzy by the mad at large;
    • 1992, Toni Morrison, Jazz, page 55:
      [] she had to look twice over her shoulder when the Gay Northeasters and the City Belles strolled down Seventh Avenue, they were so handsome. But this envy-streaked pleasure Alice closeted, and never let the girl see how she admired those ready-for-bed-in-the-street clothes.

Derived terms

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See also

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References

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  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary. "closet, n."

Anagrams

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Old French

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Etymology

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From clos +‎ -et.

Noun

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closet oblique singularm (oblique plural closez or closetz, nominative singular closez or closetz, nominative plural closet)

  1. A small enclosed area, such as a field or a paddock.

Portuguese

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A dressing room adjoining a domestic room

Etymology

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Unadapted borrowing from English closet.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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closet m (plural closets)

  1. dressing room, walk-in closet (US), walk-in wardrobe (UK) (a small room adjoining a domestic bedroom where people may dress or undress in privacy)
    • 2020 September 2, Luane Baptista, “Como montar um closet no apartamento: ideias e orientações”, in CRB Construtora[2]:

Further reading

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Romanian

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Etymology

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From English (water) closet, via French (water-)closet and semi-calque German (Wasser)Klosett.

Noun

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closet n (plural closete)

  1. toilet, latrine, bathroom

Declension

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See also

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References

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Spanish

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Noun

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closet m (plural closets)

  1. Alternative spelling of clóset

Welsh

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Pronunciation

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Etymology 1

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From English closet.

Alternative forms

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Noun

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closet m (plural closetau)

  1. closet

Further reading

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  • R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present), “closet”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies

Etymology 2

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See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Alternative forms

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Verb

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closet

  1. second-person singular conditional colloquial of cloi

Mutation

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Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
closet gloset nghloset chloset
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.