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[al-kohv] /ˈæl koʊv/
a recess or small room adjacent to or opening out of a room:
a dining alcove.
a recess in a room for a bed, bookcases, or the like.
any recessed space, as a bower in a garden.
Origin of alcove
1670-80; < French alcôve < Spanish alcoba < Arabic al-qubbah the dome
nook, bay. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for alcove
Historical Examples
  • He sat in an alcove, by a large, polished window of the club.

    The Second Fiddle Phyllis Bottome
  • Dick, spurred by impulse, left his alcove and entered the room.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
  • It was all empty; there was only the great crucifix in the alcove.

    The Gadfly E. L. Voynich
  • The doorway into the alcove bedroom was concealed by a portière.

    An American Suffragette Isaac N. Stevens
  • The piano occupied one corner of an alcove off the large backroom.

    Wide Courses James Brendan Connolly
  • We'll have the bottle in the alcove at the head of the stairs.

    The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath
  • Ben Aboo had tried to follow them, but he had been killed in the alcove of the patio.

    The Scapegoat Hall Caine
  • There was no door to my room; it was, strictly speaking, an alcove.

    The Philippine Islands John Foreman
  • Unable to believe that his delightful experiences were but the memories of sleep he turned to the alcove.

    Romances of Old Japan Yei Theodora Ozaki
  • While he mused his eyes were fixed on the alcove at the end of the room.

    Ambrotox and Limping Dick Oliver Fleming
British Dictionary definitions for alcove


a recess or niche in the wall of a room, as for a bed, books, etc
any recessed usually vaulted area, as in a garden wall
any covered or secluded spot, such as a summerhouse
Word Origin
C17: from French alcôve, from Spanish alcoba, from Arabic al-qubbah the vault, arch
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
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Word Origin and History for alcove

1670s, "vaulted recess," from French alcôve (17c.), from Spanish alcoba, from Arabic al-qobbah "the vaulted chamber," from Semitic base q-b-b "to be bent, crooked, vaulted."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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