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since 1880
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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Cloister mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Cloister

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Clois"ter
  1. An inclosed place.(Obs)
  2. A covered passage or ambulatory on one side of a court;pl.the series of such passages on the different sides of any court, esp. that of a monastery or a college."But let my due feet never fail To walk the studious cloister's pale." [Milton.]
  3. A monastic establishment; a place for retirement from the world for religious duties."Fitter for a cloister than a crown." [Daniel.]
    synonyms: Cloister Monastery Nunnery Convent Abbey Priory.

Usage: Cloister and convent are generic terms, and denote a place of seclusion from the world for persons who devote their lives to religious purposes. They differ is that the distinctive idea of cloister is that of seclusion from the world, that of convent, community of living. Both terms denote houses for recluses of either sex. A cloister or convent for monks is called a monastery; for nuns, a nunnery. An abbey is a convent or monastic institution governed by an abbot or an abbess; a priory is one governed by a prior or a prioress, and is usually affiliated to an abbey.

Etymology: OF. cloistre, F. cloƮtre, L. claustrum, pl. claustra, bar, bolt, bounds, fr. claudere clausum, to close. See Close (v. t.), and cf. Claustral

verb Clois"ter
To confine in, or as in, a cloister; to seclude from the world; to immure.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A courtyard with covered walks (as in religious institutions)
  2. Residence that is a place of religious seclusion (such as a monastery)
  3. Seclude from the world in or as if in a cloister ("She cloistered herself in the office")
  4. Surround with a cloister ("cloister the garden")
  5. Surround with a cloister, as of a garden

Recorded since c.1300, directly from Old French cloistre, clostre, or via Old English clauster, both from Medieval Latin claustrum (“portion of monastery closed off to laity”), from Latin claustrum (“place shut in, bar, bolt, enclosure”), a derivation of the past participle of claudere (“to close”).

  1. A covered walk with an open colonnade on one side, running along the walls of buildings that face a quadrangle; especially:
    1. such arcade in a monastery;
    2. such arcade fitted with representations of the stages of Christ's Passion.
  2. A place, especially a monastery or convent, devoted to religious seclusion.
  3. (figuratively) The monastic life.

Fun Facts about the name Cloister

  • When was the first name Cloister first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Cloister is Wednesday, August 21st, 1907.
  • How unique is the name Cloister? From 1880 to 2017 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Cloister. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
  • Weird things about the name Cloister: Your name in reverse order is Retsiolc. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Toriscle. How do you pronounce that?

What Cloisters Have Visited This Page?

Past life for Cloister born Jul 11, 1922

I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a male in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere around the territory of Ireland approximately on 850. Your profession was seaman, cook, and carpenter.

Psychologically, you had a Bohemian personality - mysterious, highly gifted, capable of understanding ancient books. Magical abilities, could be a servant of dark forces. Your problem - to learn to love and to trust the Universe. You are bound to think, study, reflect and develop inner wisdom.

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.