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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce recluse (audio)

Dictionary definition of recluse

A person who chooses to live in solitude, away from the company of others.
"The hermit lived as a recluse in the forest, shunning all contact with civilization."

Detailed meaning of recluse

It is someone who avoids social contact and prefers to spend most of their time alone. They may have a strong desire for privacy and may have a limited or no participation in society. The term "recluse" often implies a voluntary withdrawal from society and a choice to live in isolation. It can also imply that the person is shy, introverted or has a fear of social interaction. Some people may become recluses due to a traumatic event or to cope with a difficult situation, others may have a personality disorder or a mental illness that makes them avoid social interaction. A recluse's lifestyle can have an impact on their physical, emotional and mental well-being, as lack of social interaction can cause feelings of loneliness, depression, and isolation. It's important to note that being a recluse is not the same as being a hermit, which is a person who chooses to live in complete isolation from society, usually for religious or spiritual reasons.

Example sentences containing recluse

1. The mountain recluse seldom sees visitors, preferring solitude.
2. Emily's uncle is a reclusive artist, rarely leaving his studio.
3. The writer led a life as a reclusive hermit, isolated from society.
4. A recluse, she found solace in nature, away from city life.
5. The old lighthouse keeper was a recluse, tending the light alone.
6. The millionaire lived as a recluse in his mansion, avoiding crowds.

History and etymology of recluse

The noun 'recluse' has its roots in Latin, particularly from the word 'recludere,' which is a combination of 're,' meaning 'back' or 'again,' and 'cludere,' meaning 'to close' or 'to shut.' In Latin, 'recludere' referred to the act of shutting oneself away or withdrawing from the company of others. This term was later adopted into Middle English as 'reclus,' signifying a person who chooses to live in solitude, away from the company of others. In medieval times, religious recluses were individuals who withdrew from society to lead lives of seclusion and devotion, often within monastic or hermitage settings. Over time, the term 'recluse' has come to describe anyone who seeks a life of solitude, away from the social interactions of mainstream society. The etymology of 'recluse' underscores the concept of withdrawal and seclusion, emphasizing the choice to live in isolation or away from the company of others.

Quiz: Find the meaning of recluse

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Further usage examples of recluse

1. The forest provided refuge for the reclusive poet, inspiring verses.
2. The reclusive scientist made groundbreaking discoveries in seclusion.
3. She had the demeanor of a quiet recluse, shying away from attention.
4. The island's only inhabitant was a reclusive fisherman, at peace.
5. The recluse cherished solitude in the wilderness, free from noise.
6. The artist's studio became his reclusive sanctuary for creation.
7. The reclusive author rarely made public appearances, valuing privacy.
8. The village had a reclusive wise woman, sought for her counsel.
9. The inventor lived as a recluse in his laboratory, inventing quietly.
10. The writer found inspiration in her reclusive cabin, penning stories.
11. He chose to be a recluse in the countryside, enjoying tranquility.
12. The old castle was said to be haunted by a reclusive ghost, a mystery.
13. The reclusive musician's music touched many hearts, despite seclusion.
14. Living as a recluse, he left a legacy of wisdom and introspection.
15. The recluse rarely left his house, preferring solitude to socializing.
16. The old mansion on the hill was rumored to be the home of a reclusive millionaire.
17. The town's recluse was known for his unkempt appearance and gruff demeanor.
18. After retiring from public life, the politician became a recluse, rarely giving interviews or attending events.
19. The artist's reclusive lifestyle was seen as eccentric by many of her fans.
20. Despite his reputation as a recluse, the author still managed to publish several best-selling books.
21. The recluse spent his days reading and writing, rarely venturing outside except to get groceries.
22. When the actress announced her retirement from acting, many speculated that she was becoming a recluse.
23. The billionaire's reclusiveness only fueled speculation about his vast fortune and mysterious past.
24. The village had a reputation for attracting recluses, who sought out its quiet and peaceful surroundings.
25. The recluse's death came as a shock to many who never knew the extent of his wealth and generosity.



loner, socialite, extrovert, mingler


SAT 8 (Scholastic Assessment Test), High School 3, Residence and Solitude

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