Definition of recluse in English:


Pronunciation /ˈrekˌlo͞os/ /ˈrɛkˌlus/ /rəˈklo͞os/ /rəˈklus/


  • A person who lives a solitary life and tends to avoid other people.

    ‘she has turned into a virtual recluse’
    ‘he's a bit of a recluse’
    • ‘Though not hermits or recluses, they do enjoy their own space to ruminate about what makes the world go round not to mention what makes people tick.’
    • ‘The majority had to severely restrict their lives by changing or abandoning work, curtailing all social activities, and becoming virtual recluses.’
    • ‘In his time, ascetics and recluses again made an attempt to enter the Guru's flock.’
    • ‘In an interview with a newspaper, he recounted the terrible state of those aged persons - between 85 and 95 years old - many of them living as recluses, rejecting contact with family and friends.’
    • ‘The refusal of judges to give any interviews, under cover of antiquated ‘rules’ which a long forgotten lord chancellor had invented, compounded the sense that they were all, or almost all, malevolent recluses.’
    • ‘I hope they won't be recluses and that they'll enjoy rural life and all that goes on in the community.’
    • ‘Until a few years ago, I thought the growing popularity of chatrooms would put a stop to social interaction, that computers would turn members of our society into a bunch of recluses.’
    • ‘Parents, psychologists and politicians are still struggling to find ways to coax these recluses - who are predominantly male - out of their self-imposed exiles.’
    • ‘Without adequate storage to keep all the mass emails they get, these poor recluses will be forced to delete their email regularly, and as a result, be restricted from going out in the world and meeting real people!’
    • ‘She is clearly unhappy in a social order where money matters, where middle-aged men become recluses and run away from their families when they lose their salaries.’
    • ‘The only way to counter this is for us to become a nation of paranoid recluses.’
    • ‘In common with many other recluses, he doesn't appear to have been shy or uncomfortable in company.’
    • ‘There would be at least five hours of silent, seated meditation a day, but there was also a lot of interaction with the other recluses and with the group of meditators who would come for weekly lectures.’
    • ‘Socially inept recluses isolated in dimly lit rooms devoid of furniture and warmth, lacking friends and family, hating their jobs and life in general are the usual way in which single people are portrayed.’
    • ‘The series also looks at recent developments in the worlds of animation and British comedy, and tells the strange tale of how convicts, scholars and recluses brought the Oxford English Dictionary into being.’
    • ‘Other recluses of his day wrote in heightened language about the grand mountain settings of their retreats; their lives appear exotic and glamorous.’
    • ‘There are other figures whose lives, the details of which are hidden or only partially known, captivate us: eccentrics, artists, the recluses.’
    • ‘All Encratites lived as groups of celibate male and female Christians, not as individual recluses, and they survived and grew by attracting converts.’
    • ‘In reaction to other philosophies of life the Taoists retreated and lived as recluses outside the milieu of society.’
    • ‘He lives as a virtual recluse on a rural estate near Andover, Hampshire, but owns shooting estates in Rosedale, North Yorkshire and other parts of Northern England.’
    hermit, ascetic
    loner, solitary, lone wolf
    View synonyms


  • Favoring a solitary life.

    ‘He was a very secretive sort of individual, a very recluse sort of a person, and didn't have much to do with many of the people of this congregation.’
    ‘In my youth I was living in the capital, so that I was able to study in the Board of Astronomy; subsequently, I was instructed in mathematics by a recluse scholar.’


Middle English from Old French reclus, past participle of reclure, from Latin recludere ‘enclose’, from re- ‘again’ + claudere ‘to shut’.



/ˈrekˌlo͞os/ /ˈrɛkˌlus/ /rəˈklo͞os/ /rəˈklus/