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See also: enclavé



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From French enclave, from Middle French enclave (enclave), deverbal of Middle French enclaver (to inclose), from Old French enclaver (to inclose, lock in), from Vulgar Latin *inclāvāre (to lock in), from in + clavis (key) or clavus (nail, bolt). Compare inlock.



enclave (plural enclaves)

  1. A political, cultural or social entity or part thereof that is completely surrounded by another.
    The republic of San Marino is an enclave of Italy.
    The streets around Union Square form a Protestant enclave within an otherwise Catholic neighbourhood.
  2. A group that is set off from a larger population by its characteristic or behavior. tends to make marriage itself a lifestyle enclave.
    • 2014 November 17, Roger Cohen, “The horror! The horror! The trauma of ISIS [print version: International New York Times, 18 November 2014, p. 9]”, in The New York Times[1]:
      What is unbearable, in fact, is the feeling, 13 years after 9/11, that America has been chasing its tail; that, in some whack-a-mole horror show, the quashing of a jihadi enclave here only spurs the sprouting of another there; that the ideology of Al Qaeda is still reverberating through a blocked Arab world whose Sunni-Shia balance (insofar as that went) was upended by the American invasion of Iraq.

Usage notesEdit

Enclaves are generally also exclaves, though exceptions exist (as detailed at list of enclaves and exclaves), and in common speech only the term enclave is used.

An enclave is an area surrounded by another area, while an exclave is an area cut off from the main area. An area can be cut off without being surrounded (such as Kaliningrad Oblast, cut off from the rest of Russia by Lithuania, Poland, and the Baltic Sea) hence exclaved without being enclaved, or surrounded without being cut off (such as the Kingdom of Lesotho, enclaved in South Africa, but not exclaved).

A pene-enclave (resp., pene-exclave) is an area that is an enclave "for practical purposes", but does not meet the strict definition. This is a very technical term.


See alsoEdit


enclave (third-person singular simple present enclaves, present participle enclaving, simple past and past participle enclaved)

  1. (transitive) To enclose within a foreign territory.


  • (group set off from a larger population by a characteristic): Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life - Page 74

by Robert Neelly Bellah, William M. Sullivan, Ann Swidler, Steven M. Tipton, Richard Madsen - 1996



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Wikipedia nl



enclave f, m (plural enclaves, diminutive enclaafje n or enclavetje n)

  1. enclave


French Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia fr



enclave f (plural enclaves)

  1. enclave

Further readingEdit



Italian Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia it



enclave f (plural enclavi) (Often invariant)

  1. enclave


Alternative formsEdit


enclave m (plural enclaves)

  1. (geography) enclave (region completely surrounded by another)
  2. (geology) an intrusive rock


Spanish Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia es


enclave m (plural enclaves)

  1. (politics) enclave



  1. Formal second-person singular (usted) imperative form of enclavar.
  2. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of enclavar.
  3. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of enclavar.
  4. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of enclavar.