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’
    • ‘During heavy rainfall last November, the Bakers' cellar filled with four inches of water.’
    • ‘In March 1605 the group took out a lease on a ground-floor cellar close by the house they had rented from John Whynniard.’
    • ‘Anyway, what with all these musty old cellars there was a bit of a rat problem.’
    • ‘He hid in a corner of a dark, dank little cellar.’
    • ‘He had been hiding in the cellar of his house, playing chess with a Jewish friend.’
    • ‘I personally will make sure the wine cellar is fully stocked when we next meet.’
    • ‘The cellars of 20 houses, the village hall and the communal cultural centre were inundated.’
    • ‘Modernism got rid of attics, sheds, cellars and peripheral rooms.’
    • ‘Why do new Irish houses have no cellars or utility rooms?’
    • ‘Will the wine cellar be stocked from the regular supplier in Ranelagh?’
    • ‘During this time the cheese is kept in a fairly damp, cool cellar.’
    • ‘She was in a room that probably originally was a coal cellar.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Last year, though, they were held in a dank cellar underneath London Bridge station's arches.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Place them in a dark, cool cellar where they will dry out and become dormant.’
    • ‘I know another guy whose abandoned mother routinely locked him in a dark root cellar at nights.’
    • ‘And firefighters spent more than 12 hours pumping water from the cellars of four houses in Morley.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He used to be a big drinker - he used to spend £10,000 a year laying down wines for his personal cellar.’


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

    ‘it is drinkable now but can be cellared for at least five years’
    • ‘All the drinks below are very palatable, however, and have the ability to be cellared and drunk as required.’
    • ‘I have tried cellaring these wines and almost invariably the results are disappointing.’
    • ‘Buy and cellar it for five years or more and you'll have a wine to excite.’
    • ‘These wines are being cellared under perfect conditions with accurate temperature and lighting.’
    • ‘However, some wine lovers also enjoy cellaring their Champagne for a few extra years.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Don't leave it cellared for too long though, as it should be supped within two years of vintage.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Among recent vintages, 2002 has been lauded as the best since 1985, offering relatively rich reds that can drink well now or be cellared.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Open one, drink half, cellar them both for six months, and then test the difference.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These wines are designed for cellaring and will benefit from age.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is also ready to drink, unlike Vintage, which needs to be cellared for some time.’
    • ‘Described as full and robust, with delicate scents of ginger, hazelnut and brioche, it can be enjoyed now or cellared for further complexity.’
    • ‘Private sales are difficult because only an expert knows if the wine has been cellared correctly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This wine spends two or three years in barrel after which it is then cellared in bottle for ten to 50 years.’


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