Definition of garret in US English:



  • A top-floor or attic room, especially a small dismal one (traditionally inhabited by an artist).

    • ‘Working in garrets or cellars, they exercised little control over the enterprise and used rented equipment so as to minimize capital losses if detected.’
    • ‘Many of these writers' works were destined to make pots of money, but only in the century after they died in their ill-lit garrets from malnourishment.’
    • ‘Why do we live along with the Bohemians in garrets if we don't have something we're passionate about?’
    • ‘Some artists, however, aren't that keen on garrets.’
    • ‘He had no time for the romantic notion of the artist starving in a garret.’
    • ‘As everyone knows, artists are supposed to live in garrets preferably in Paris, but Glasgow is okay too.’
    • ‘Sung in English, it tells the story of a group of artists living in a cold garret room in the Latin Quarter of Paris.’
    • ‘People like to envisage artists as people in garrets struggling away with brushes in four different sizes.’
    • ‘Many of Valery's essays make reference not only to the salons and cafes on the banks of the Seine, but to other interiors like rooms and garrets of artists of the time.’
    • ‘The attic, or garret, was primarily for storage, not bedrooms.’
    • ‘Thus, while one version puts her to work at a loom in a factory, and has her living in a garret, another has her earning a meagre crust as a teacher in London.’
    • ‘The garret has become a half-acre loft with white floors.’
    • ‘I imagine my façade as an old Victorian, right on the waterfront and overlooking the twilight with many, many rooms and a little garret in which I sit overlooking everything.’
    • ‘A cold garret room in the Latin Quarter of Paris is home to four struggling young artists: Rodolfo, a poet; Marcello, a painter; Colline, a philosopher and Schaunard, a musician.’
    • ‘He is not an artist who locks himself away in a garret but a practical man of the theatre who needs to know who he is writing for and, even better, who is coming to see it.’
    • ‘In modern cities, Plato's idea of banishing artists is almost achieved through economic means, with many forced to live and work in low-rent premises such as garrets, lofts, and disused warehouses.’
    • ‘There was a bit of mistral, certainly, and a scarcity of water in the summer, but no freezing garrets and plenty of artists, writers, and bon vivants.’
    • ‘Hawkers were confronted on the streets, distributors challenged in their premises and pubs, and printers raided in their cellars and garrets.’
    • ‘Upper floors contained bedrooms for the family and garrets for servants.’
    • ‘In fact, few painters have starved in the garrets, or have had to wait until death for recognition.’
    attic, loft, roof space, cock loft
    View synonyms


Middle English (in the sense ‘watchtower’): from Old French garite, from garir (see garrison).