Definition of enclave in English:



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

    ‘they gave troops a week to leave the coastal enclave’
    • ‘Delegates at the assembly were careful to emphasise that they didn't seek independence, but a semi-autonomous enclave within a federal Iraq.’
    • ‘Should we instead be encouraging the foundation of a series of autonomous, loosely interdependent ethnic enclaves?’
    • ‘Several Jewish enclaves already existed within the Holy Roman Empire (from Prague to Frankfurt) well before the sixteenth century.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Because of its close proximity to work, immigrants settled on the Lower East Side, forming ethnic enclaves.’
    • ‘While casinos were illegal in Hong Kong, they had taken deep root in the old Portuguese enclave.’
    • ‘Most islands are multiethnic, with large and small groups forming geographical enclaves.’
    • ‘San Marino is an Independent republic and enclave within northern Italy, with a population of 46,500.’
    • ‘They settled in metropolitan areas including Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, and formed organized ethnic enclaves throughout the nation.’
    • ‘In large urban areas, distinct ethnic enclaves such as the Polish, Irish, Jewish, and Italian communities persisted.’
    • ‘A world reputation for jobs, and a ‘welcome to the neighbourhood’ attitude has historically created a city of immigrants and ethnic enclaves.’
    • ‘Liberals see immigrant communities as ethnic enclaves that retard the development of American individualism.’
    • ‘Deep suspicions and fears continue to divide the people into ethnic enclaves.’
    • ‘So far we've left the struggle to a few dedicated activists in ethnic enclaves.’
    • ‘For example, not all immigrants resided in ethnic enclaves close to ethnic retail outlets.’
    • ‘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.’
    area of land, area, region
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A place or group that is different in character from those surrounding it.
      ‘the engineering department is traditionally a male enclave’
      • ‘Located in an exclusive residential enclave, the Sheraton Towers has more than 300 rooms.’
      • ‘Within a predominantly corporate enclave, it introduces an informal, occasionally light-hearted and distinctly local emphasis.’
      • ‘It tells us that capitalism will not allow enclaves of socialism to exist, be it a hippy commune or an island of socialism.’
      • ‘Moving to London in 1859, he settled in Chelsea, an artists' enclave, in 1863.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Local campaigns have stopped motorways being built and have created working class housing enclaves against the wishes of the property developers.’
      • ‘Peter has found his niche nestled in a small coastal enclave in central California.’
      • ‘And those who live in refurbished parts of inner cities have enclaves of their own.’
      • ‘The efforts of these local activists helped to establish enclaves of black power.’
      • ‘Some people decamp to quieter beautiful places, enclaves still not discovered, off the beaten path.’
      • ‘Then, within their protected virtual enclaves, they declare these things to be the norm.’
      • ‘Television programs are resumed within this privileged enclave, and a semblance of normality returns within the walls of Bognor.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Planners have approved the building of 27 new homes to replace four detached houses in an exclusive leafy enclave.’
      • ‘Communities are crucial for the formation and maintenance of moral values whereas lifestyle enclaves are not.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


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