The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







It is common for a to be placed on the inside of a closet door.
It is common for a mirror to be placed on the inside of a closet door.

A closet (also known as a cupboard ) is a small, enclosed storage space in a house or building.

Closets can take several forms—they can be a narrow floor-to-ceiling space for the storage of lengthy items (often called a broom closet ), or they can be much larger or smaller. A walk-in-robe is a very large closet (called in America a walk-in closet). One particular type of walk-in closet is the so called California closet, which contains a multitude of shelves, racks, shoe compartments, and hanging rails.

Closets can be built into the walls of the house during construction so that they take up no space in the room, or they can be a large, free-standing piece of furniture designed for clothes storage, in which case they are generally called a wardrobe or armoire .

Figuratively, a closet is a place where one hides things; "having skeletons in one's closet" is a figure of speech for having particularly sensitive secrets. Thus, closet as an adjective means secret—usually with a connotation of vice, as in "a closet alcoholic", though sometimes used as a humorous exaggeration for any potential embarrassment, as in "a closet comic book fan".

Bedroom closets are also the center of most childhood fears. Children fear during the night that a monster or any other paranormal creature hides inside the closet, and is destined to frighten the child. In the first of the Poltergeist movies, the closet was the area of the family house in which the ghosts hid in to kidnap the child.

The metaphor is commonly used to refer to hiding one's sexual identity; see the closet and coming out.

Last updated: 05-07-2005 15:48:10
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04