[ noun rek-loos, ri-kloos; adjective ri-kloos, rek-loos ]
See synonyms for recluse on
  1. a person who lives in seclusion or apart from society, often for religious meditation.

  2. Also incluse. a religious voluntary immured in a cave, hut, or the like, or one remaining within a cell for life.

adjectivere·cluse [ri-kloos, rek-loos] /rɪˈklus, ˈrɛk lus/ .Also re·clu·sive .
  1. shut off or apart from the world; living in seclusion, often for religious reasons.

  2. characterized by seclusion; solitary.

Origin of recluse

1175–1225; Middle English <Old French reclus<Late Latin reclūsus, past participle of reclūdere to shut up, equivalent to re-re- + -clūd-, combining form of claudere to close + -tus past participle suffix, with dt>s

Other words from recluse

  • non·re·clu·sive, adjective
  • un·re·cluse, adjective
  • un·re·clu·sive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use recluse in a sentence

  • Some tended to be so over-reclusive that they almost missed recognition; others were hail-fellow-well-met in any company.

    The Armed Forces Officer | U. S. Department of Defense
  • Perhaps I thought so reclusive a man as he even then appeared would never come at all.

    Old Familiar Faces | Theodore Watts-Dunton
  • "Satish became very reclusive after his wife's death," Bishnu continued.

    Autobiography of a YOGI | Paramhansa Yogananda

British Dictionary definitions for recluse


/ (rɪˈkluːs) /

  1. a person who lives in seclusion

  2. a person who lives in solitude to devote himself to prayer and religious meditation; a hermit, anchorite, or anchoress

  1. solitary; retiring

Origin of recluse

C13: from Old French reclus, from Late Latin reclūdere to shut away, from Latin re- + claudere to close

Derived forms of recluse

  • reclusion (rɪˈkluːʒən), noun
  • reclusive, adjective

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