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2017 Word of the Year

recluse

[noun rek-loos, ri-kloos; adjective ri-kloos, rek-loos] /noun ˈrɛk lus, rɪˈklus; adjective rɪˈklus, ˈrɛk lus/
noun
1.
a person who lives in seclusion or apart from society, often for religious meditation.
2.
Also, incluse. a religious voluntary immured in a cave, hut, or the like, or one remaining within a cell for life.
adjective, , recluse
[ri-kloos, rek-loos] /rɪˈklus, ˈrɛk lus/ (Show IPA),
Also, reclusive
3.
shut off or apart from the world; living in seclusion, often for religious reasons.
4.
characterized by seclusion; solitary.
Origin of recluse
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English < Old French reclus < Late Latin reclūsus, past participle of reclūdere to shut up, equivalent to re- re- + -clūd-, combining form of claudere to close + -tus past participle suffix, with dt > s
Related forms
nonreclusive, adjective
unrecluse, adjective
unreclusive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for recluse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "It is a long time when it is a year of suspense," said the recluse, shaking his head.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • She did not work as devotedly as she had hoped to do, nor did she become a recluse from society.

    One Day's Courtship Robert Barr
  • He was however naturally of an abstemious and recluse disposition.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • It was Father Sergius's sixth year as a recluse, and he was now forty-nine.

    Father Sergius Leo Tolstoy
  • I am a recluse, have been for many years and rarely stir abroad.

    Rosinante to the Road Again

    John Dos Passos
British Dictionary definitions for recluse

recluse

/rɪˈkluːs/
noun
1.
a person who lives in seclusion
2.
a person who lives in solitude to devote himself to prayer and religious meditation; a hermit, anchorite, or anchoress
adjective
3.
solitary; retiring
Derived Forms
reclusion (rɪˈkluːʒən) noun
reclusive, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French reclus, from Late Latin reclūdere to shut away, from Latin re- + claudere to close
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 recluse
n.

c.1200, "person shut up from the world for purposes of religious meditation," from Old French reclus (fem. recluse) "hermit, recluse," also "confinement, prison; convent, monastery," noun use of reclus (adj.) "shut up," from Late Latin reclusus, past participle of recludere "to shut up, enclose" (but in classical Latin "to throw open"), from Latin re-, intensive prefix, + claudere "to shut" (see close (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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