Gay politicians were few and far between; gay celebrities were closeted.
When Tonie Tobias started at Delta in 1996 she was shy and closeted.
On the show-stopper "Turn It Off," sung by a closeted missionary struggling with his sexuality.
It's a surprisingly triumphant tone on which to end, considering Kaplan's stance as a "closeted optimist."
Yes, he was a difficult, alcoholic, closeted gay man who was sometimes mean to his family.
But he was closeted with the secretary of the company for an hour, and when he came out his step was slow.
I had closeted him; and now I had time to consider the situation.
Day after day, Rjane drives up to the door, behind her white mules, and is closeted with the master and his chosen aids.
closeted alone, for some time the alarmed ladies could not think of what they ought to do.
It was the night that stranger called at our house, when you and Mr. Carr were closeted with him so long.
late 14c., from Old French closet "small enclosure, private room," diminutive of clos "enclosure," from Latin clausum "closed space, enclosure, confinement," from neuter past participle of claudere "to shut" (see close (v.)). In Matt. vi:6 it renders Latin cubiculum "bedchamber, bedroom," Greek tamieion "chamber, inner chamber, secret room;" thus originally in English "a private room for study or prayer." Modern sense of "small side-room for storage" is first recorded 1610s.
The adjective is from 1680s, "private, secluded;" meaning "secret, unknown" recorded from 1952, first of alcoholism, but by 1970s used principally of homosexuality; the phrase come out of the closet "admit something openly" first recorded 1963, and lent new meanings to the word out.
"shut up as in a closet" (originally usually for purposes of concealment or private consultation), 1680s, from closet (v.). Related: Closeted; closeting.
Secret; unsuspected •Although this sense is much earlier, it has recently been revived by the homosexual use: Puddin' calls me his closet red-neck/ fellow who was known around the White House as a ''closet liberal'' (1600s+)