[ klohsh, klawsh ]
/ kloʊʃ, klɔʃ /
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a woman's close-fitting hat with a deep, bell-shaped crown and often a narrow, turned-down brim.
a bell-shaped glass cover placed over a plant to protect it from frost and to force its growth.
a bell-shaped metal or glass cover placed over a plate to keep food warm or fresh.
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Origin of cloche

1905–10; <French: bell, bell-jar <Medieval Latin clocca.See cloak
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does cloche mean?

A cloche is a type of round, close-fitting hat with a bell-shaped crown that was popularly worn by women in the 1920s and 1930s. Cloches often have a narrow, turned-down brim. They are sometimes called cloche hats.

Cloche is also the name of the (often silver) dome used to keep food warm that you typically see in stereotypical images of tuxedoed servers bringing food to tables at fancy restaurants. The word can also refer to other types of serving dishes, especially bell-shaped ones.

Cloche can also refer to a cover used to protect plants during early growth. It is sometimes called a garden cloche.

Example: Franny is trying to look like a 1920s flapper in her new red cloche, and I think she’s pulling it off.

Where does cloche come from?

The first records of cloche in English come from the late 1800s, from the context of gardening. Cloche is taken directly from the French word cloche, meaning “bell.” This derives from the Medieval Latin clocca, which also means “bell” and is the basis for the word clock.

Cloche can be used to refer to very different things, but they all have in common the fact that they are traditionally bell shaped. In gardening, cloches were originally glass bell jars used to cover plants to protect them from frost or other conditions. Many gardeners still use cloches for this purpose, but they don’t have to be glass or bell-shaped. Today, the word often refers to a kind of netting used as a protective covering.

Some people still wear cloche hats, but the style was most popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Wearing one today is often a throwback to that era.

The expression served on a silver platter often conjures up the image of a server carrying food on a plate with a shiny dome on top. The platter is the plate, and the dome on top is a cloche. The word can also refer to similar items, like a butter dish with a fancy cover, for example.

Did you know ... ?

What are some words that share a root or word element with cloche


What are some words that often get used in discussing cloche?

How is cloche used in real life?

Cloche is used in three very different contexts. Most people recognize a cloche hat and the cloche used for serving food, but most people don’t know the name for them. (But now you do.)



Try using cloche!

True or False? 

Cloches are always bell-shaped.

How to use cloche in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cloche

/ (klɒʃ) /

a bell-shaped cover used to protect young plants
a woman's almost brimless close-fitting hat, typical of the 1920s and 1930s

Word Origin for cloche

C19: from French: bell, from Medieval Latin clocca
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