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[sel-er] /ˈsɛl ər/
a room, or set of rooms, for the storage of food, fuel, etc., wholly or partly underground and usually beneath a building.
an underground room or story.
Sports. the lowest position in a group ranked in order of games won:
The team was in the cellar for most of the season.
verb (used with object)
to place or store in a cellar.
Origin of cellar
1175-1225; Middle English celer < Anglo-French < Latin cellārium storeroom, equivalent to cell(a) cell1 + -ārium -ary; later respelling to reflect Latin form; see -er2, -ar2
Related forms
cellarless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cellar
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Some of your money is hidden away in the cellar, I'm thinking.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • Don't you think I might find some stored away in the cellar, for instance?

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • He says he sat on the cellar steps most of the time and thought of the happy past.

  • But the mother was with the little body lying alone in the cellar.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • She went and came only through the cellar, and knew no other entrance.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
British Dictionary definitions for cellar


an underground room, rooms, or storey of a building, usually used for storage Compare basement
a place where wine is stored
a stock of bottled wines
(transitive) to store in a cellar
Word Origin
C13: from Anglo-French, from Latin cellārium food store, from cellacella
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 cellar

early 13c., "store room," from Anglo-French celer, Old French celier "cellar, underground passage" (12c., Modern French cellier), from Latin cellarium "pantry, storeroom," literally "group of cells;" which is either directly from cella (see cell), or from noun use of neuter of adjective cellarius "pertaining to a storeroom," from cella. The sense in late Middle English gradually shifted to "underground room." Cellar door attested by 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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