Clois"ter (?), n. [OF.
cloistre, F. cloître, L. claustrum,
pl. claustra, bar, bolt, bounds, fr. claudere,
clausum, to close. See Close, v.
t., and cf. Claustral.]
1. An inclosed place. [Obs.]
2. A covered passage or ambulatory on one
side of a court; (pl.) the series of such
passages on the different sides of any court, esp. that of a
monastery or a college.
But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloister's pale.
3. A monastic establishment; a place for
retirement from the world for religious duties.
Fitter for a cloister than a crown.
Cloister garth (Arch.), the
garden or open part of a court inclosed by the
Syn. -- Cloister, Monastery,
Nunnery, Convent, Abbey, Priory.
Cloister and convent are generic terms, and denote
a place of seclusion from the world for persons who devote their
lives to religious purposes. They differ is that the distinctive
idea of cloister is that of seclusion from the world, that
of convent, community of living. Both terms denote houses
for recluses of either sex. A cloister or convent
for monks is called a monastery; for nuns, a
nunnery. An abbey is a convent or monastic
institution governed by an abbot or an abbess; a priory is
one governed by a prior or a prioress, and is usually affiliated
to an abbey.
Clois"ter (?), v. t. [imp.
& p. p. Cloistered (?); p. pr. & vb.
n. Cloistering.] To confine in, or as in, a
cloister; to seclude from the world; to immure.
None among them are thought worthy to be styled
religious persons but those that cloister themselves up in