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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
  • My washing machine and dryer sit in a shallow alcove.
  • They weren't thrilled about the configuration, an alcove studio.
  • The huge figure sits in a sort of alcove overlooking the river, which makes it look enthroned.
  • The inscriptions on the alcove walls come from his speeches as president and afterward.
  • Adornments are few, but include pleasing woodcut prints, a long sushi bar and a small tatami-matted alcove in the rear.
  • There is a wealth of closets elegant mirrored dressing alcove and direct sunlight from the south and east facing windows.
  • Also there is a dining alcove with ample room to entertain guests.
  • The result is six floors of apartments, including eight alcove studios, eight two-bedroom units and four duplex penthouses.
  • And an alcove leading into each room will be personalized with photos selected by its residents.
  • The alcove originally sheltered a fountain with a waterfall.
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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