Definition of cellar in English:



  • 1A room below ground level in a house, often used for storing wine or coal.

    ‘the servants led us down into a cellar’
    ‘a wine cellar’
    • ‘There is one story in the book from a man who remembers as a child being in the cellar of their house during a bombing raid.’
    • ‘And firefighters spent more than 12 hours pumping water from the cellars of four houses in Morley.’
    • ‘Place them in a dark, cool cellar where they will dry out and become dormant.’
    • ‘There are over 300 cafes and bars in the centre of old Krakow, most of them tucked away in the vaulted, dimly-lit cellars of the grand houses and palaces around the main square.’
    • ‘The cellars of 20 houses, the village hall and the communal cultural centre were inundated.’
    • ‘I know another guy whose abandoned mother routinely locked him in a dark root cellar at nights.’
    • ‘Their company has been valued at £20 million and employs 30 people, just two years after they set it up in the cellar of their student house.’
    • ‘I personally will make sure the wine cellar is fully stocked when we next meet.’
    • ‘She was in a room that probably originally was a coal cellar.’
    • ‘During heavy rainfall last November, the Bakers' cellar filled with four inches of water.’
    • ‘He hid in a corner of a dark, dank little cellar.’
    • ‘The basement comprises the usual kitchen, maids' rooms and cellars associated with a grand country house of the period, more normally located in a separate wing.’
    • ‘He had been hiding in the cellar of his house, playing chess with a Jewish friend.’
    • ‘In March 1605 the group took out a lease on a ground-floor cellar close by the house they had rented from John Whynniard.’
    • ‘During this time the cheese is kept in a fairly damp, cool cellar.’
    • ‘Will the wine cellar be stocked from the regular supplier in Ranelagh?’
    • ‘Anyway, what with all these musty old cellars there was a bit of a rat problem.’
    • ‘Last year, though, they were held in a dank cellar underneath London Bridge station's arches.’
    • ‘Why do new Irish houses have no cellars or utility rooms?’
    • ‘Modernism got rid of attics, sheds, cellars and peripheral rooms.’
    basement, vault, crypt, undercroft, underground room, catacomb
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A stock of wine.
      ‘he spent years building up a remarkable cellar of aged Riojas’
      • ‘He used to be a big drinker - he used to spend £10,000 a year laying down wines for his personal cellar.’
      • ‘All of this does nothing at all to explain why the vast majority of the wines in my cellar today are from Europe.’
      • ‘It has one of the best cellars of French wine in London to select from.’
      • ‘David's other great hobby is his cellar, and the wine list at the Peat Inn is comprehensive without being in the least daunting.’


[with object]
  • Store (wine) in a cellar.

    ‘it is drinkable now but can be cellared for at least five years’
    • ‘However, some wine lovers also enjoy cellaring their Champagne for a few extra years.’
    • ‘So she might either mark up the wines, projecting their worth in five years down the road and price them accordingly, or instead cellar them.’
    • ‘I have tried cellaring these wines and almost invariably the results are disappointing.’
    • ‘Open one, drink half, cellar them both for six months, and then test the difference.’
    • ‘It is also ready to drink, unlike Vintage, which needs to be cellared for some time.’
    • ‘People would drink the poor vintage until a better one came along, but no one would buy up cases and cellar them away to age.’
    • ‘You need patience, suitable conditions and a healthy bank balance to get into the business of cellaring the great red wines until they each their peak.’
    • ‘Don't leave it cellared for too long though, as it should be supped within two years of vintage.’
    • ‘Private sales are difficult because only an expert knows if the wine has been cellared correctly.’
    • ‘Given that most Bordeaux blends based on Cabernet Sauvignon used to be cellared for 15 years, the contention that Pomerol wines were ready to be drunk after three to four years was seen as the height of convenience.’
    • ‘Described as full and robust, with delicate scents of ginger, hazelnut and brioche, it can be enjoyed now or cellared for further complexity.’
    • ‘These wines are being cellared under perfect conditions with accurate temperature and lighting.’
    • ‘Buy and cellar it for five years or more and you'll have a wine to excite.’
    • ‘Fermentation achieved at such low temperatures proceeded so slowly that the beer had to be cellared over the whole winter instead of for just a few weeks.’
    • ‘It is possible for wine from an exceptional vintage that has been produced and cellared to the highest standard to last 100 years or more.’
    • ‘These wines are designed for cellaring and will benefit from age.’
    • ‘All the drinks below are very palatable, however, and have the ability to be cellared and drunk as required.’
    • ‘Gamay juice also tends to be vinified in a hurry, not least because of market pressure for Beaujolais nouveau, and if Gamay-based wines are cellared for more than two or three years it is usually by mistake.’
    • ‘This wine spends two or three years in barrel after which it is then cellared in bottle for ten to 50 years.’
    • ‘Among recent vintages, 2002 has been lauded as the best since 1985, offering relatively rich reds that can drink well now or be cellared.’


Middle English (in the general sense ‘storeroom’): from Old French celier, from late Latin cellarium ‘storehouse’, from Latin cella ‘storeroom or chamber’.