Definition of closet in US English:

closet

noun

  • 1North American A tall recess or wardrobe with a door, used for storage.

    • ‘Taking a broom and dustpan from a narrow closet, Joe walked around the bar and began sweeping Bobby's broken glass off the floor.’
    • ‘The Interrogation Chamber was scarcely more than a small closet of a room.’
    • ‘You'll end up with a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear.’
    • ‘Is there an area of your house that has a musty smell to it (basements, laundry rooms, and closets are all prime spots)?’
    • ‘I'm here ransacking my closet for something good enough to wear, I can't believe all the trash I've got in here!’
    • ‘Blake had a walk in closet, large enough for him to lie in.’
    • ‘‘Yes just let me get my shoes on,’ Kat said walking over to her closet full of shoes.’
    • ‘Suddenly they pulled him into a room that looked more like a janitor's closet then anything else.’
    • ‘He walked over to his closet, reached over the rack of mostly black clothes, and pulled an old looking large box down from the shelf.’
    • ‘She opened the doors to a walk in closet full of purple outfits and at least fifty pairs of shoes.’
    • ‘Spare bedrooms or large closets make good drying rooms, but hot attics and damp cellars generally do not.’
    • ‘She then walked over to her closet and pulled out a large, brown trunk full of heirlooms and dust.’
    • ‘Close doors to rooms that don't need to be heated, like closets, storage rooms, etc.’
    • ‘Houses that don't have catch-all closets or rooms in which the inhabitants can dump outdoor stuff always seem sinister to me.’
    • ‘Keeley walked out of the closet with clothes in her hands and threw them on the bed, smiling at me.’
    • ‘Start opening your closets, drawers and cupboards now and donate your unused items to help others.’
    • ‘We'd hit the big time, changing in a real dressing room, not some backstage janitor's closet.’
    • ‘Her mother, a petite sort of woman and covered in flour, walked out from the store closet.’
    • ‘He, along with the others, was waiting for me by the second floor janitorial closet, a secluded and unused room just under the side stairwell.’
    • ‘I jump off my bed and walk to my closet scanning the clothes, but not really looking, for my mind is recalling the events that happened earlier.’
    • ‘The hall, closets, laundry room, bathroom, and den all had their own muted colored doors.’
    • ‘She watched as he stood, and walked brusquely to the closet, flicking through his wardrobe.’
    • ‘He got up, and went away into the closet adjoining her room, in which a bed had been spread on the floor.’
    • ‘This section mainly held small maintenance closets, party rooms, storage areas, and a single inn.’
    • ‘He walked into his closet and grabbed some clothes to change into.’
    • ‘In my search I found a bathroom, two closets, the laundry room, and the basement.’
    • ‘I sat in my room, in my closet to be exact, and stared at the wall with my journal lying on my lap, waiting for me to fill its pages with tonight's occurrences.’
    • ‘The closet was full of clothes and shoes, and dirty laundry littered the floor.’
    • ‘Some people will also use this kind of pantry closet to store occasional-use items, such as large platters and coffee urns.’
    cupboard, wardrobe, cabinet, locker
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A small room, especially one used for storing things or for private study.
      • ‘We'd hit the big time, changing in a real dressing room, not some backstage janitor's closet.’
      • ‘The Interrogation Chamber was scarcely more than a small closet of a room.’
      • ‘And since last night, the bearded mentor had sequestered himself in his prayer closet, taking only water as he fasted.’
      • ‘He got up, and went away into the closet adjoining her room, in which a bed had been spread on the floor.’
      • ‘I sat in my room, in my closet to be exact, and stared at the wall with my journal lying on my lap, waiting for me to fill its pages with tonight's occurrences.’
      • ‘Houses that don't have catch-all closets or rooms in which the inhabitants can dump outdoor stuff always seem sinister to me.’
      • ‘Victory is not won in the pulpit by firing intellectual bullets or wisecracks, but in the prayer closet.’
      • ‘The hall, closets, laundry room, bathroom, and den all had their own muted colored doors.’
      • ‘He, along with the others, was waiting for me by the second floor janitorial closet, a secluded and unused room just under the side stairwell.’
      • ‘Is there an area of your house that has a musty smell to it (basements, laundry rooms, and closets are all prime spots)?’
      • ‘This section mainly held small maintenance closets, party rooms, storage areas, and a single inn.’
      • ‘In my search I found a bathroom, two closets, the laundry room, and the basement.’
      • ‘Another described the huts of hermits on remote islands off the coast of Ireland and asked if I was constructing a prayer closet.’
      • ‘Some people will also use this kind of pantry closet to store occasional-use items, such as large platters and coffee urns.’
      • ‘Close doors to rooms that don't need to be heated, like closets, storage rooms, etc.’
      • ‘I can just go in my prayer closet and confess to God and I don't need to talk about my sins with a man.’
      • ‘She placed the belongings in an empty cubbyhole in the private closet with a label indicating the pile's owners.’
      • ‘Suddenly they pulled him into a room that looked more like a janitor's closet then anything else.’
      • ‘Spare bedrooms or large closets make good drying rooms, but hot attics and damp cellars generally do not.’
      • ‘Her mother, a petite sort of woman and covered in flour, walked out from the store closet.’
    2. 1.2dated
      short for water closet
      • ‘some persons will use the closet twice daily’
      • ‘the stench from the overcrowding or from closets is almost unbearable’
      lavatory, wc, water closet, convenience, public convenience, facilities, urinal, privy, latrine, outhouse, earth closet, jakes
      View synonyms
  • 2the closetUsed to refer to a state of secrecy or concealment, especially about one's homosexuality.

    ‘his brother's decision to come out of the closet’
    ‘she tries to have a relationship with another woman while remaining in the closet’
    • ‘At last, those of us who are pernickety about our food can come out of the closet.’
    • ‘One of my other friends seems to think that this girl has a huge crush on me and is just afraid to ‘come out of the closet.’’
    • ‘It is a symbol of the strength it takes for gay Americans to come out of the closet, and the strength of all who support them.’
    • ‘What's the best way for a gay or lesbian to come out of the closet?’
    • ‘It must have taken courage to come out of the closet, even on that limited scale; congratulations.’
    • ‘That's changing as more of us come out of the closet - hence the improving statistics on gay-marriage support.’
    • ‘It's time for lesbian breakups to come out of the closet.’
    • ‘The Left needs to come out of the closet about its spiritual dimensions.’
    • ‘You could come out of the closet to someone you've just met, for example, even if you haven't come out to family and friends.’
    • ‘Straight talk about sex in the media, which was taboo during his repressive regime, has come out of the closet.’
    • ‘I am proud that I was able to come out of the closet with dignity and on my own terms.’
    • ‘One of the biggest deterrents to coming out of the closet for gay and lesbian youth has to be the paucity of out role models.’
    • ‘Well the blond bombshell is one celebrity who's come out of the closet about her illness.’
    • ‘The main reason for this public calm is that gays have come out of the closet in huge numbers over the last three decades.’
    • ‘But now, their storm-trooper tactics have come out of the closet, for all the world to see.’
    • ‘Stories of athletes who've dared to come out of the closet will also be featured.’
    • ‘An obvious, but often overlooked, fact about assimilation is that it can only occur once gay people have actually come out of the closet.’
    • ‘My wife is leaving it up to me to come out of the closet and tell everyone, and she is very supportive.’

adjective

  • attributive Secret; covert.

    ‘a closet alcoholic’
    • ‘Of course, there's always the possibility that she's got her own kind of closet issues.’
    • ‘Things of a sexual nature such as prostitution, even though they were going on, were pretty much closet activities.’
    • ‘As it turned out he wasn't a closet Bolshevik at all, rather a secret Tory with a clever eye for career advancement.’
    • ‘Women are often closet gamblers and their husbands and families are the last to know about the addiction.’
    • ‘You half-expected the same spokesman to try to convince us all that bookies are really closet philanthropists.’
    • ‘Dublin is harbouring a posse of disenfranchised closet cowboys, hollering for a dedicated country music radio service.’
    • ‘I'm not talking about closet communists, hippies or little old ladies.’
    • ‘There may be closet homosexuals but they are not to be relied upon.’
    • ‘Today it is a heritage centre where closet cowboys don fancy dress and fire blanks from six-shooters in the name of tourism and charity.’
    • ‘Perhaps we workers in Antarctica are regarded as closet revolutionaries?’
    • ‘The church has been ordaining closet homosexuals for 2000 years, but it seems to have problems ordaining honest ones.’
    • ‘Does this mean that journalists are closet Stalinists, covering for their comrades in furtherance of the Revolution?’
    • ‘I just hoped he wasn't some kind of closet kleptomaniac.’
    • ‘He's obviously terrible in bed, and there's one scene that suggests he's a closet homosexual - so what's to admire?’
    • ‘He is a closet homosexual, quite clearly, and I'd advise him to act on his feelings.’
    • ‘It's hard to find an environmentalist who is not a closet socialist - with a nice condo in the suburbs and two cars in the garage.’
    • ‘I've discovered a whole drove of closet romance fans.’
    secret, covert, unrevealed, undisclosed, private, hidden, concealed, surreptitious, clandestine, underground, furtive
    View synonyms

verb

[with object]
  • Shut (someone) away, especially in private conference or study.

    ‘he was closeted with the king’
    ‘he returned home and closeted himself in his room’
    • ‘I'm the loser here, closeted in my room, thinking that study is an adequate substitute for life, or even, for vanity is something I've never quite outgrown, superior to it.’
    • ‘She added: ‘We have all been so affected by the tragedy that we risk closeting our kids and raising a generation of very nervous young adults.’’
    • ‘It became impossible to closet millions of people behind a physical wall that was so easily penetrated by informatics.’
    • ‘Before going for official-level talks, the Defence Secretary was closeted with his counterpart for about an hour.’
    • ‘Being a housewife, closeted within the four walls of the kitchen amid pots, pans and ladles, dishing out culinary delicacies for family, friends and relatives need not always be drudgery.’
    • ‘The Daily Mail, which was due to run extracts in January, leapt at the chance to go early, and so I closeted myself away and bashed out an extra chapter bringing the book up to date.’
    • ‘He responded by closeting himself in the former ladies' cabin of the steamer Magnolia while he poured over maps pondering the situation.’
    • ‘He would prefer to walk up the stairs than get closeted in a lift.’
    • ‘The secret to his stage routine is out: he sings as though he's in the shower and dances as though he's safely closeted in his bedroom.’
    • ‘You know, he closeted himself off from the rest of the world, in that sense.’
    • ‘It requires instead that women must closet themselves in order to protect themselves from sexual assault.’
    • ‘Constantly closeted with management, they come to see negotiation, compromise, as the very stuff of trade unionism.’
    • ‘Immediately after the assassination he raced from Montreal to New York, where he was closeted in a five-hour locked-door meeting.’
    • ‘Alex told me that although his family knows that he is gay, he closets himself more than I would have expected - particularly at his school.’
    • ‘From the Ministry of Defence, where he closeted himself for much of the time, there issued a steady flow of handouts extolling his sagacity and leadership.’
    • ‘I guess it was time for me to sulk about the house of the rest of the evening, closeting myself away in my room listening to music.’
    • ‘The former senator closeted himself yesterday at his New Jersey, home to consult supporters.’
    • ‘Amanda closeted herself in her room for two days trying to sleep away her headache and the heartache that was its companion.’
    • ‘Then he closeted himself in the bathroom, intent on a shower.’
    • ‘Brendan closeted himself in his office for the rest of the day and wallowed in his misery.’
    • ‘And so, closeted in our jury room, sandwiches ordered, mobile phones removed and under strict instructions to speak to no-one, we sat down to make our decision.’
    shut away, sequester, seclude, cloister, insulate, confine, isolate
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (denoting a private or small room): from Old French, diminutive of clos ‘closed’ (see close).

Pronunciation

closet

/ˈkläzət//ˈklɑzət/