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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

alcove

[al-kohv] /ˈæl koʊv/
noun
1.
a recess or small room adjacent to or opening out of a room:
a dining alcove.
2.
a recess in a room for a bed, bookcases, or the like.
3.
any recessed space, as a bower in a garden.
Origin
1670-1680
1670-80; < French alcôve < Spanish alcoba < Arabic al-qubbah the dome
Synonyms
nook, bay.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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

alcove

/ˈælkəʊv/
noun
1.
a recess or niche in the wall of a room, as for a bed, books, etc
2.
any recessed usually vaulted area, as in a garden wall
3.
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
n.

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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Encyclopedia Article for alcove

recess opening off a room or other space enclosed by walls or hedges. In medieval architecture it was commonly used as a sleeping space off the main body of a drafty hall. The separation of the alcove from the main space was accomplished at first by means of curtains and later by timber partitions to form independent rooms and thus conserve heat. In later centuries bed alcoves and kitchen alcoves reappeared as means of saving space in small living quarters, particularly in apartments

Learn more about alcove with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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11
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