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[en-kleyv, ahn-] /ˈɛn kleɪv, ˈɑn-/
a country, or especially, an outlying portion of a country, entirely or mostly surrounded by the territory of another country.
any small, distinct area or group enclosed or isolated within a larger one:
a Chinese-speaking enclave in London.
verb (used with object), enclaved, enclaving.
to isolate or enclose (especially territory) within a foreign or uncongenial environment; make an enclave of:
The desert enclaved the little settlement.
Origin of enclave
1865-70; < French, Middle French, noun derivative of enclaver < Vulgar Latin *inclāvāre to lock in, equivalent to Latin in- in-2 + clāv(is) key + -āre infinitive suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for enclaves
  • Folks in the modest suburban enclaves southwest of the city noticed it.
  • Ask students to consider how exclaves and enclaves are similar and different from other landlocked countries.
  • Faraway enclaves reachable only by foot or boat distinguish this island destination.
  • It's about life in hipster enclaves, and the self-consciousness that makes hipsters desperately disavow the label.
  • More and more people have withdrawn into protected enclaves.
  • Few remember in the haze of recollection that the villages also had a mean, dark side, typical of many peasant enclaves.
  • Moderates can't win because so long as deportations are background noise in immigrant enclaves they're easily ignored.
  • But what is immediately apparent is the scarcity of informal socializing within many of the enclaves.
  • It is easy to do that from rich countries, and easy from the rich big-city enclaves of still-poor countries.
  • He shut out the press, cloistered his family in ritzy enclaves, abhorred distractions.
British Dictionary definitions for enclaves


a part of a country entirely surrounded by foreign territory: viewed from the position of the surrounding territories Compare exclave
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Old French enclaver to enclose, from Vulgar Latin inclāvāre (unattested) to lock up, from Latin in-² + clavis key
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 enclaves



1868, from French enclave, from Old French enclaver "enclose, comprise, include" (13c.), from Late Latin inclavare "shut in, lock up," from Latin in- "in" (see in- (2)) + clavis "key" (see slot (n.2)). Enclaved "surrounded by land owned by another" is attested in English from mid-15c., from Middle French enclaver.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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enclaves in Medicine

enclave en·clave (ěn'klāv', ŏn'-)
A detached mass of tissue enclosed in tissue of another kind.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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