- a small room, enclosed recess, or cabinet for storing clothing, food, utensils, etc.
- a small private room, especially one used for prayer, meditation, etc.
- a state or condition of secrecy or carefully guarded privacy: Some conservatives remain in the closet except on election day. Gay liberation has encouraged many gay people to come out of the closet.
- water closet.
- private; secluded.
- suited for use or enjoyment in privacy: closet reflections; closet prayer.
- engaged in private study or speculation; speculative; unpractical: a closet thinker with no practical experience.
- being or functioning as such in private; secret: a closet anarchist.
- to shut up in a private room for a conference, interview, etc. (usually used in the passive voice): The secretary of state was closeted with the senator for three hours in a tense session.
Origin of closet
Examples from the Web for closet
One night in 2004, my college boyfriend called me from inside a closet in a north Toronto housing project.Bobby Shmurda and Rap’s Ultimate Hoop Dream
December 23, 2014
But once Kanye came along, Kim had to literally clean out her closet.Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s Balmain Campaign: High Fashion Meets Low Culture
December 23, 2014
When I was in the closet in my twenties, I considered suicide almost every day.Do LGBTs Owe Christians an Olive Branch? Try The Other Way Around
December 14, 2014
It should be possible to make an interesting film in a closet with the door shut.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Hanley was forced to come out of the closet and resign all at once.Headmasters Behaving Badly
November 29, 2014
Harriet had not "gone into her closet and shut the door" for nothing.Harriet, The Moses of Her People
Sarah H. Bradford
It was over his image that she had lingered that morning in her closet.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
Tears, of course, except in the privacy of one's closet, were not ethical on the Street.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
She offered to go to my closet: I stept in before her: touch it, if you dare.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
Nothing else ought ever to be heard of in the school, or in the closet.
- a small cupboard or recess
- a small private room
- short for water closet
- (modifier) private or secret
- (modifier) suited or appropriate for use in privatecloset meditations
- (modifier) US and Canadian based on or devoted to theory; speculativea closet strategist
- (tr) to shut up or confine in a small private room, esp for conference or meditation
Word Origin and History for closet
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.
Idioms and Phrases with closet
see come out of the closet; skeleton in the closet.