Definition of enclave in English:



  • 1A portion of territory surrounded by a larger territory whose inhabitants are culturally or ethnically distinct.

    ‘the besieged Muslim enclave of Srebrenica’
    • ‘Because of its close proximity to work, immigrants settled on the Lower East Side, forming ethnic enclaves.’
    • ‘A century ago, in a multi-cultural America comprised of separate cultural enclaves, ethnic groups were more involved in the affairs of their own communities than the larger society.’
    • ‘So far we've left the struggle to a few dedicated activists in ethnic enclaves.’
    • ‘San Marino is an Independent republic and enclave within northern Italy, with a population of 46,500.’
    • ‘Liberals see immigrant communities as ethnic enclaves that retard the development of American individualism.’
    • ‘A world reputation for jobs, and a ‘welcome to the neighbourhood’ attitude has historically created a city of immigrants and ethnic enclaves.’
    • ‘Delegates at the assembly were careful to emphasise that they didn't seek independence, but a semi-autonomous enclave within a federal Iraq.’
    • ‘Deep suspicions and fears continue to divide the people into ethnic enclaves.’
    • ‘In large urban areas, distinct ethnic enclaves such as the Polish, Irish, Jewish, and Italian communities persisted.’
    • ‘Should we instead be encouraging the foundation of a series of autonomous, loosely interdependent ethnic enclaves?’
    • ‘They settled in metropolitan areas including Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, and formed organized ethnic enclaves throughout the nation.’
    • ‘But ethnic enclaves, unions, and competing values contributed to distinct cultures of consumption.’
    • ‘Isolated European ethnic enclaves and insulated enclaves of privilege, however, have seen their boundaries opened.’
    • ‘Most islands are multiethnic, with large and small groups forming geographical enclaves.’
    • ‘While casinos were illegal in Hong Kong, they had taken deep root in the old Portuguese enclave.’
    • ‘For example, not all immigrants resided in ethnic enclaves close to ethnic retail outlets.’
    • ‘Several Jewish enclaves already existed within the Holy Roman Empire (from Prague to Frankfurt) well before the sixteenth century.’
    area of land, area, region, enclave
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A place or group that is different in character from those surrounding it.
      ‘the engineering department is traditionally a male enclave’
      • ‘He declined to give details on who the passengers were except to say they were from a nursing home in Bellaire, an upscale enclave within Houston.’
      • ‘Television programs are resumed within this privileged enclave, and a semblance of normality returns within the walls of Bognor.’
      • ‘Communities are crucial for the formation and maintenance of moral values whereas lifestyle enclaves are not.’
      • ‘The novella is about masculine middle-age, with Victorian males hurrying into their enclaves or laboratories to escape all kinds of ever-present threats, such as the new woman.’
      • ‘Several smaller regions in the South and Midwest are veritable working class enclaves with 40 to 50 percent or more of their workforce in the traditional industrial occupations.’
      • ‘It tells us that capitalism will not allow enclaves of socialism to exist, be it a hippy commune or an island of socialism.’
      • ‘Within a predominantly corporate enclave, it introduces an informal, occasionally light-hearted and distinctly local emphasis.’
      • ‘Peter has found his niche nestled in a small coastal enclave in central California.’
      • ‘Located in an exclusive residential enclave, the Sheraton Towers has more than 300 rooms.’
      • ‘The efforts of these local activists helped to establish enclaves of black power.’
      • ‘Moving to London in 1859, he settled in Chelsea, an artists' enclave, in 1863.’
      • ‘Planners have approved the building of 27 new homes to replace four detached houses in an exclusive leafy enclave.’
      • ‘The result in some areas is social cleansing, with the rich creating exclusive enclaves.’
      • ‘The 1st District, which reaches out to the eastern tip of Long Island, is a mix of posh resort towns and working-class enclaves.’
      • ‘However, while large parts of the world continue to be enclaves of extreme hardship and poverty, despair will take root.’
      • ‘And those who live in refurbished parts of inner cities have enclaves of their own.’
      • ‘Then, within their protected virtual enclaves, they declare these things to be the norm.’
      • ‘Some people decamp to quieter beautiful places, enclaves still not discovered, off the beaten path.’
      • ‘So I resolve that I, personally, will foil the United States Secret Service and force my way into the secret enclaves of the Republican Party.’
      • ‘Local campaigns have stopped motorways being built and have created working class housing enclaves against the wishes of the property developers.’


Mid 19th century: from French, from Old French enclaver enclose, dovetail, based on Latin clavis key.