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From Latin claustrum (a bolt, bar).



claustrum (plural claustra)

  1. (neuroanatomy) A thin lamina of grey matter in each cerebral hemisphere of the human brain.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Gray's Anatomy to this entry?)

Related terms[edit]


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.



Consists of claud- (to close, enclose) +‎ -trum. From Proto-Indo-European *kleh₂u- (key, hook, nail) + *-trom (instrumental suffix), related to Latin clāvis (key), clāvus (nail, peg), claustra (dam, wall, barricade, stronghold). Cognate with Ancient Greek κλείς (kleís, bar, bolt, key), Old High German sliozan (to close, conclude, lock), Old Saxon slūtan (to close, conclude, lock).



claustrum n (genitive claustrī); second declension

  1. (rare, usually in the plural) a bar, band, bolt
  2. gate, door, bulwark
  3. enclosure (confined space)
  4. cloister (especially in plural)
  5. (Medieval Latin) portion of monastery closed off to laity
  6. (New Latin, neuroanatomy) claustrum (thin lamina of grey matter in each cerebral hemisphere of the human brain)


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative claustrum claustra
genitive claustrī claustrōrum
dative claustrō claustrīs
accusative claustrum claustra
ablative claustrō claustrīs
vocative claustrum claustra

Usage notes[edit]

  • Singular forms are almost never encountered; this noun is usually plural.

Related terms[edit]


See also[edit]


  • claustrum in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • claustrum in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • du Cange, Charles (1883), “claustrum”, in G. A. Louis Henschel, Pierre Carpentier, Léopold Favre, editors, Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (in Latin), Niort: L. Favre
  • claustrum” in Félix Gaffiot’s Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette (1934)
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • (ambiguous) to break down the gates: claustra portarum revellere
  • claustrum in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • claustrum in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[2], pre-publication website, 2005-2016
  • claustrum in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin