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Etymology 1[edit]

closet (state of concealment) +‎ -ed


closeted (comparative more closeted, superlative most closeted)

  1. (informal) Not open about one's homosexuality.
  2. (by extension) Not open about some aspect of one's identity, tendency or fondness; secret.
    • 1971, Cynthia Ozick, "The Pagan Rabbi" in Collected Stories, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2006, p. 12,
      [] the remaining quotations, chiefly from English poetry, interested me only slightly more. They were the elegiac favourites of a closeted Romantic.
    • 1982, Marshall Berman, All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity, Penguin, 1988, p. 45,
      Now he feels a connection between his own closeted, esoteric sufferings and strivings and those of the poor urban working people all around him.

Etymology 2[edit]

See closet (verb)



  1. simple past tense and past participle of closet


closeted (not comparable)

  1. Confined.
    He's spent all day closeted in his room.
    • 1766, Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield, London: J.C. Nimmo, 1886, Chapter X, p. 68, [1]
      After they had been closeted up with the fortune-teller for some time, I knew by their looks, upon their returning, that they had been promised something great.
    • 1920, Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence, Chapter XI, New York: D. Appleton & Co., p. 94, [2]
      It was a winter evening of transparent clearness, with an innocent young moon above the house-tops; and he wanted to fill his soul's lungs with the pure radiance, and not exchange a word with any one till he and Mr. Letterblair were closeted together after dinner.
    • 1924, Herman Melville, Billy Budd, London: Constable & Co., Chapter 17, [3]
      Now when the Foretopman found himself closeted there, as it were, in the cabin with the Captain and Claggart, he was surprised enough.
  2. Sheltered, protected
    • 1985, Charles Irving, Hansard, 25 January, 1985, [4]
      In my salubrious constituency of Cheltenham and in the leafy lanes of Gloucestershire, we are perhaps somewhat closeted from these unpleasant and harsh realities of the urban world of London, Plymouth, Birmingham and other major cities