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

Synonyms for alcove Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for alcove

Historical Examples of alcove

  • 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

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

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • The alcove grows so hot, too, at night that I shall be obliged to lie on the couch.'

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

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine

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 for alcove

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

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