secluded from the world; sheltered: a cloistered life.
having a cloister or cloisters.

Origin of cloistered

First recorded in 1575–85; cloister + -ed2
Related formsnon·clois·tered, adjectiveun·clois·tered, adjectivewell-clois·tered, adjective

Synonyms for cloistered

1. withdrawn, isolated, aloof, sequestered.




a covered walk, especially in a religious institution, having an open arcade or colonnade usually opening onto a courtyard.
a courtyard, especially in a religious institution, bordered with such walks.
a place of religious seclusion, as a monastery or convent.
any quiet, secluded place.
life in a monastery or convent.

verb (used with object)

to confine in a monastery or convent.
to confine in retirement; seclude.
to furnish with a cloister or covered walk.
to convert into a monastery or convent.

Origin of cloister

1250–1300; Middle English cloistre < Anglo-French, Old French, blend of cloison partition (see cloisonné) and clostre (< Latin claustrum barrier (Late Latin: enclosed place); see claustrum)
Related formsclois·ter·less, adjectiveclois·ter·like, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for cloistered

Contemporary Examples of cloistered

Historical Examples of cloistered

  • That was the effect of my cloistered life, but I had no feeling of fear.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • The home, cloistered off, exclusive, can hardly be said to exist.

  • How cloistered and constitutionally sequestered from the market and from scandal!

    Essays, Second Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • After his death her first impulse was to take the vows of a cloistered nun.

    Italy, the Magic Land

    Lilian Whiting

  • But I have concluded that such a motive for cloistered life is a cowardly one.

    The Crimson Tide

    Robert W. Chambers

British Dictionary definitions for cloistered



secluded or shut up from the world
living in a monastery or nunnery
(of a building, courtyard, etc) having or provided with a cloister



a covered walk, usually around a quadrangle in a religious institution, having an open arcade or colonnade on the inside and a wall on the outside
(sometimes plural) a place of religious seclusion, such as a monastery
life in a monastery or convent


(tr) to confine or seclude in or as if in a monastery
Derived Formscloister-like, adjective

Word Origin for cloister

C13: from Old French cloistre, from Medieval Latin claustrum monastic cell, from Latin: bolt, barrier, from claudere to close; influenced in form by Old French cloison partition
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 cloistered



early 13c., from Old French cloistre "monastery, convent; enclosure" (12c., Modern French cloître), from Medieval Latin claustrum "portion of monastery closed off to laity," from Latin claustrum (usually in plural, claustra) "place shut in, enclosure; bar, bolt, means of shutting in," from past participle stem of claudere (see close (v.)).

"The original purpose of cloisters was to afford a place in which the monks could take exercise and recreation" [Century Dictionary]. Spelling in French influenced by cloison "partition." Old English had clustor, clauster in the sense "prison, lock, barrier," directly from Latin, and cf. from the same source Dutch klooster, German Kloster, Polish klasztor.



c.1400 (implied in cloistered), from cloister (n.). Figurative use from c.1600. Related: Cloistered; cloistering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper