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cloister

A cloister is an enclosed garden, usually surrounded by covered walkways. Because such spaces are often featured in buildings that house religious orders, cloister can be used to mean "monastery" or "convent."

In enclosed religious orders, monks and nuns withdraw from society to devote themselves to prayer and contemplation. In order to provide them with access to the outdoors while protecting them from contact with the secular world, the cloister became a common element of convents and monasteries. When used as a verb, cloister generally loses its religious connotation and means "to seclude" or "isolate." Don't get a lunch detention or you'll be cloistered in the classroom while all the other kids are running around outside.

Definitions of cloister
  1. noun
    residence that is a place of religious seclusion (such as a monastery)
    synonyms: religious residence
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    types:
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    convent
    a religious residence especially for nuns
    monastery
    the residence of a religious community
    priory
    religious residence in a monastery governed by a prior or a convent governed by a prioress
    abbey
    a monastery ruled by an abbot
    abbey
    a convent ruled by an abbess
    charterhouse
    a Carthusian monastery
    friary
    a monastery of friars
    lamasery
    a monastery for lamas
    nunnery
    the convent of a community of nuns
    type of:
    residence
    the official house or establishment of an important person (as a sovereign or president)
  2. verb
    seclude from the world in or as if in a cloister
    “She cloistered herself in the office”
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    type of:
    insulate, isolate
    place or set apart
  3. noun
    a courtyard with covered walks (as in religious institutions)
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    type of:
    court, courtyard
    an area wholly or partly surrounded by walls or buildings
  4. verb
    surround with a cloister
    cloister the garden”
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    type of:
    border, environ, ring, skirt, surround
    extend on all sides of simultaneously; encircle
  5. verb
    surround with a cloister, as of a garden
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    type of:
    border, environ, ring, skirt, surround
    extend on all sides of simultaneously; encircle
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