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Alternative forms[edit]

  • inclosure (was as common as or more common until the early 1800s; now uncommon)


Borrowed from Old French enclosure.



enclosure (countable and uncountable, plural enclosures)

  1. (countable) Something enclosed, i.e. inserted into a letter or similar package.
    There was an enclosure with the letter — a photo.
  2. (uncountable) The act of enclosing, i.e. the insertion or inclusion of an item in a letter or package.
    The enclosure of a photo with your letter is appreciated.
  3. (countable) An area, domain, or amount of something partially or entirely enclosed by barriers.
    He faced punishment for creating the fenced enclosure in a public park.
    The glass enclosure holds the mercury vapor.
    The winning horse was first into the unsaddling enclosure.
    • 1899 Feb, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, page 199:
      And the village was deserted, the huts gaped black, rotting, all askew within the fallen enclosures.
  4. (uncountable) The act of separating and surrounding an area, domain, or amount of something with a barrier.
    The enclosure of public land is against the law.
    The experiment requires the enclosure of mercury vapor in a glass tube.
    At first, untrained horses resist enclosure.
  5. (uncountable, British History) The post-feudal process of subdivision of common lands for individual ownership.
    Strip-farming disappeared after enclosure.
  6. (religion) The area of a convent, monastery, etc where access is restricted to community members.

Usage notes[edit]

  • For more on the spelling of this word, see enclose.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


enclos-, stem of enclore +‎ -ure.


enclosure f (oblique plural enclosures, nominative singular enclosure, nominative plural enclosures)

  1. enclosure (act of enclosing something)
  2. enclosure (enclosed area)