a small room, enclosed recess, or cabinet for storing clothing, food, utensils, etc.
a small private room, especially one used for prayer, meditation, etc.
a state or condition of secrecy or carefully guarded privacy: Some conservatives remain in the closet except on election day. gay liberation has encouraged many gay people to come out of the closet.
private; secluded.
suited for use or enjoyment in privacy: closet reflections; closet prayer.
engaged in private study or speculation; speculative; unpractical: a closet thinker with no practical experience.
being or functioning as such in private; secret: a closet anarchist.
verb (used with object)
to shut up in a private room for a conference, interview, etc. (usually used in the passive voice): The secretary of state was closeted with the senator for three hours in a tense session.

1300–50; Middle English < Anglo-French, Middle French, equivalent to clos close (noun) + -et -et Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
closet (ˈklɒzɪt)
1.  a small cupboard or recess
2.  a small private room
3.  short for water closet
4.  (modifier) private or secret
5.  (modifier) suited or appropriate for use in private: closet meditations
6.  (US), (Canadian) (modifier) based on or devoted to theory; speculative: a closet strategist
vb , -ets, -eting, -eted
7.  (tr) to shut up or confine in a small private room, esp for conference or meditation
[C14: from Old French, from clos enclosure; see close1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1340, from O.Fr. closet "small enclosure," dim. of clos, from L. clausum "closed space," from neut. pp. of claudere "to shut" (see close (v.)). In Matt. vi:6 used to render L. cubiculum, Gk. tamieion; originally in Eng. "a private room for study or prayer;" modern sense
of "small side-room for storage" is first recorded 1616. The adjective meaning "secret, unknown" recorded from 1952, first of alcoholism, but by 1970s used principally of homosexuality; the phrase come out of the closet "admit something openly" first recorded 1963, and led to new meanings for the word out.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Closet definition

as used in the New Testament, signifies properly a storehouse (Luke 12: 24), and hence a place of privacy and retirement (Matt. 6:6; Luke 12:3).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see come out of the closet; skeleton in the closet.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
In the bedroom with a closet example, it would mean the amount of carpet
  necessary to cover the floor.
So, you can keep that tinfoil helmet in your closet for now.
One needs so little space to make a really useful laundry closet.
Much of the rest was air seeping out of a closet on our second floor, where a
  small furnace unit was located.
Image for closet
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