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[al-kohv] /ˈæl koʊv/
a recess or small room adjacent to or opening out of a room:
a dining alcove.
a recess in a room for a bed, bookcases, or the like.
any recessed space, as a bower in a garden.
Origin of alcove
1670-80; < French alcôve < Spanish alcoba < Arabic al-qubbah the dome
nook, bay. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for alcove
Historical Examples
  • When, at that instant, he saw the curtain of the alcove slightly stirred.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Dick, spurred by impulse, left his alcove and entered the room.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
  • The alcove grows so hot, too, at night that I shall be obliged to lie on the couch.'

  • It looked as if she was concealing the thoughts that made her rigid in the darkness of the alcove.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
  • Ben Aboo had tried to follow them, but he had been killed in the alcove of the patio.

    The Scapegoat Hall Caine
  • When he had gone, she turned to the Cardinal, who stood in the doorway of the alcove.

  • “An easy penance;” and the Marquise moved smilingly towards the alcove.

    The Bondwoman Marah Ellis Ryan
  • Mrs. McVeigh arose, and with a slight bow to the dowager, passed into the alcove.

    The Bondwoman Marah Ellis Ryan
  • The doorway into the alcove bedroom was concealed by a portière.

    An American Suffragette Isaac N. Stevens
  • We'll have the bottle in the alcove at the head of the stairs.

    The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath
British Dictionary definitions for alcove


a recess or niche in the wall of a room, as for a bed, books, etc
any recessed usually vaulted area, as in a garden wall
any covered or secluded spot, such as a summerhouse
Word Origin
C17: from French alcôve, from Spanish alcoba, from Arabic al-qubbah the vault, arch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for alcove

1670s, "vaulted recess," from French alcôve (17c.), from Spanish alcoba, from Arabic al-qobbah "the vaulted chamber," from Semitic base q-b-b "to be bent, crooked, vaulted."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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