World English Dictionary
cloister (ˈklɔɪstə)
1.  a covered walk, usually around a quadrangle in a religious institution, having an open arcade or colonnade on the inside and a wall on the outside
2.  (sometimes plural) a place of religious seclusion, such as a monastery
3.  life in a monastery or convent
4.  (tr) to confine or seclude in or as if in a monastery
[C13: from Old French cloistre, from Medieval Latin claustrum monastic cell, from Latin: bolt, barrier, from claudere to close; influenced in form by Old French cloison partition]

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