[ kloz-it ]
See synonyms for: closetclosetedcloseting on

  1. a small room, enclosed recess, or cabinet for storing clothing, food, utensils, etc.

  2. a small private room, especially one used for prayer, meditation, etc.

  1. 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.

  1. private; secluded.

  2. suited for use or enjoyment in privacy: closet reflections; closet prayer.

  1. engaged in private study or speculation; speculative; unpractical: a closet thinker with no practical experience.

  2. being or functioning as such in private; secret: a closet anarchist.

verb (used with object)
  1. 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

1300–50; Middle English <Anglo-French, Middle French, equivalent to closclose (noun) + -et-et

Words Nearby closet Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use closet in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for closet


/ (ˈklɒzɪt) /

  1. a small cupboard or recess

  2. a small private room

  1. short for water closet

  2. (modifier) private or secret

  3. (modifier) suited or appropriate for use in private: closet meditations

  4. (modifier) US and Canadian based on or devoted to theory; speculative: a closet strategist

verb-ets, -eting or -eted
  1. (tr) to shut up or confine in a small private room, esp for conference or meditation

Origin of closet

C14: from Old French, from clos enclosure; see close 1

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with closet


see come out of the closet; skeleton in the closet.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.