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.

1670–80; < French alcôve < Spanish alcoba < Arabic al-qubbah the dome

nook, bay. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
alcove (ˈælkəʊv)
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
[C17: from French alcôve, from Spanish alcoba, from Arabic al-qubbah the vault, arch]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1670s, "vaulted recess," from Fr. alcôve, from Sp. alcoba, from Arabic al-qobbah "the vaulted chamber," from Sem. base q-b-b "to be bent, crooked, vaulted."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for alcoves
Caves and other alcoves that offer protection are used as litter dens.
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