Definition of cloister in English:

cloister

noun

  • 1A covered walk in a convent, monastery, college, or cathedral, typically with a colonnade open to a quadrangle on one side.

    ‘the shadowed cloisters of the convent’
    • ‘The courtyard is surrounded on three sides by columned cloisters with galleries of majestic arches.’
    • ‘Luca Signorelli started the decorative scheme with nine lunettes on the west side of the cloister.’
    • ‘The cloisters and gardens are also open with the Fox Talbot Museum between February 26 and April 1.’
    • ‘Cain walked down the winding cloisters towards the prison cells and thought of the misery surrounding him now.’
    • ‘The mosque originally consisted of a rectangular court 43.2 m by 33 m, enclosed by colonnaded cloisters.’
    • ‘Hundreds of us occupied the cathedral cloisters and held a short rally.’
    • ‘A trumpet sounded through the sun-bathed cloisters of Manchester Cathedral after the coffin of Stephen Oake was borne in by six pall-bearers yesterday.’
    • ‘As they entered the north-east transept from the cloister, the tumult of the knights' party caused the monks in the choir to stop singing vespers.’
    • ‘Dubrovnik contains wonderful monasteries with peaceful cloisters and fine artworks.’
    • ‘The same serrated silhouette rounds off the long workshop volume on the opposite side of the cloister.’
    • ‘Sitting rooms lead off a wide, airy corridor, like a convent cloister, where light floods in.’
    • ‘There is a small archaeological museum in the cloisters of the cathedral.’
    • ‘‘It used to be like an open cloister but the archways were closed in,’ explained Mr Purslow.’
    • ‘In Carthusian houses the individual cells occupied by members of the community open from the cloister walk.’
    • ‘Maithris looked up at the question, then back to trailing a finger along the slender cast-iron columns fronting the cloister as we walked.’
    • ‘Danti's design of the monastery cloisters was particularly fine.’
    • ‘We emerged from a doorway into a cloister surrounding a huge open field: the very core of the Citadel.’
    • ‘It seemed that overnight they arrived, set up an office in the Cathedral cloisters, and sent out a troop of black-plumed guards to bring me to their head official.’
    • ‘The many arches of the cloisters sprawled outward from the tower casting long irregular shadows in the early morning light.’
    • ‘Italian influences are discernible in the wall paintings in the cloister of the Emmaus monastery.’
    walkway, covered walk, corridor, aisle, arcade, loggia, gallery, piazza
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A convent or monastery.
      • ‘Even though government had formally dispersed monks in cloisters, clerks and canons regular survived after unification.’
      • ‘Properly she should now retreat to the blessed silence of the cloister whence she strayed into the pulpit.’
      • ‘He was born at York and educated in the cloister school there under Archbishop Egbert.’
      • ‘The opera follows the destiny of Blanche de la Force as she enters the cloister at Compiegne, painting a portrait in sound of the humble, neurotic heroine.’
      • ‘Traditional Cambridge colleges, modelled on monastic cloisters, consist of courts surrounded by walls of individual rooms.’
      • ‘The setting is revolutionary France and a cloister of Carmelite nuns.’
      • ‘And you can buy your vegetables from a local market spread out below 13 th-century Franciscan cloisters.’
      • ‘The very texts that the monks were reading in the cloister were often decorated with a similar repertoire of disturbing creatures.’
      • ‘There were many famous cloisters in Byzantium where such women placed themselves at the service of society as a whole.’
      • ‘Often the cloister was the only refuge for women who wanted to pursue learning and be active in scholarly life.’
      • ‘There are ways among the stone and shadow of our cloisters to transgress the Rule.’
      • ‘Many significant people, scholars and nonscholars, enrich the Orthodox cloisters.’
      • ‘In turn, this plan was copied and adopted in cloisters and monasteries throughout Europe.’
      • ‘Henket solved the problem with one bold basic move: creating a glass and metal bridge at first floor level along the north side of the cloister.’
      • ‘Sirens, the most common hybrids to be included in Romanesque sculpture, appear frequently in the context of the monastic cloister.’
      • ‘Before, books and maps were produced and copied by monks in cloisters.’
      • ‘Virtue is not tested in the cloister or the monastery or the nunnery.’
      • ‘Sometimes Behrens recalls these stories from the vantage point of the monastic cloister.’
      • ‘She who had abandoned the world outside the cloister walls found the microcosm of the community within too large.’
      • ‘Pagodas and Buddhist cloisters are another landmark of Yunnan.’
    2. 1.2Monastic life.
      ‘he was inclined more to the cloister than the sword’
      • ‘In other words, this is not a matter of supporting the cloister against the school, advocating lectio divina while rejecting ordered learning and disputation.’
      • ‘Jedidah, before you commit yourself to the cloisters, we want to give you a choice.’
      • ‘When we meet Jesus in the medieval West, it is, in these and other ways, most often as the Christ of the cloisters.’
      • ‘Thomas Merton described in a letter to Dorothy Day the movement of his spirit from the cloister to the world.’
      • ‘This embrace of the mystical dimension of faith does not require withdrawal to the cloister or a privatized Christianity.’
      • ‘They can simply say something such as ‘I am of the Cloister, and my cloister is of deep seclusion.’’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Seclude or shut up in a convent or monastery.

    ‘the monastery was where the Brothers would cloister themselves to meditate’
    • ‘The Congress likes to cloister its leader in a tower surrounded by loyal party leaders, accessible only to the select few.’
    • ‘For two years, he cloistered himself in a cave overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Taipei County and meditated on the questions of life and death.’
    • ‘By the fifteenth century in England, even the regular clergy were rarely so tightly cloistered as to cut them off from social relations.’
    • ‘Fay was never terribly good at living, so it makes sense that she would eventually cloister herself away behind a typewriter.’
    • ‘Neatly dressed, hands gloved, Erika pushes by the staring men and cloisters herself in private video booths.’
    • ‘In this house they can cloister their passion freely since Maggie and Adam have in a sense pushed them together.’
    • ‘After saying for a year that he would not resign, he finally stepped down and cloistered himself for a while in a monastery until his appointment in Rome.’
    • ‘Yet for our ministers, cloistered from economic reality, it's business as usual.’
    • ‘‘He's uncomfortable with it, so I tend to do it secretly, when I'm alone in the house or by cloistering myself in the bathroom,’ she admits.’
    • ‘When guests are present they are expected to cloister themselves from view.’
    • ‘Like many kids growing up in the mid-1960s, I spent countless hours cloistered in my room assembling those multicolored bricks.’
    • ‘His skin sensed the suffocating stillness of the confessional as he heard the thick curtain sway close behind him, cloistering him inside the booth.’
    confine, isolate, shut away, sequester, seclude, closet
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘place of religious seclusion’): from Old French cloistre, from Latin claustrum, clostrum lock, enclosed place, from claudere, to close.

Pronunciation:

cloister

/ˈklɔɪstə/