cloister

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cloister. Enclosed court, attached to a monastic or collegiate church, consisting of a roofed ambulatory, often (but not always) south of the nave and west of the transept, around an open area (garth), the walls (panes) facing the garth constructed with plain or traceried openings (sometimes glazed or shuttered). It served as a way of communication between different buildings (e.g. chapter-house, refectory), and was often equipped with carrels, seats, and a lavatorium in which to perform ablutions before entering the refectory. In basilican and Early Christian churches the cloister was at the west end, often with a fountain for washing in the garth, and was called an atrium, with one side either doubling as or leading to the narthex. This type of cloister, not intended as a means of communication between conventual buildings, was sometimes used for burial, and in due course became a detached building-type, used as a walled cemetery, such as the Campo Santo, Pisa, with memorials set around the walls. See also coved vault.

Bibliography

Braunfels (1972);
Rey (1955)

cloister

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clois·ter / ˈkloistər/ • n. a covered walk in a convent, monastery, college, or cathedral, typically with a wall on one side and a colonnade open to a quadrangle on the other. ∎  (the cloister) monastic life. ∎  a convent or monastery. ∎  any place or position of seclusion: college is a cloister apart from the cares of the world.• v. [tr.] seclude or shut up in or as if in a convent or monastery.DERIVATIVES: clois·tral / ˈkloistrəl/ adj.ORIGIN: Middle English (in the sense ‘place of religious seclusion’): from Old French cloistre, from Latin claustrum, clostrum ‘lock, enclosed place,’ from claudere ‘to close.’

cloister

cloister

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cloister enclosure, close XIII; convent, covered walk (esp. a round a court) XIV. — OF. clo(i)stre (mod. cloître) :- L. claustrum, clōstrum bolt, place, f. claud-, stem of claudere CLOSE, + -trum, instr. suffix.

cloister

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cloister a covered walk in a convent, monastery, college, or cathedral, often with a wall on one side and a colonnade open to a quadrangle on the other. The word is recorded from Middle English (in the sense ‘place of religious seclusion’, and comes via Old French from Latin claustrum, clostrum ‘lock, enclosed place’, from claudere ‘to close’.