from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small compartment, as for work or study.
  • n. A small sleeping compartment, especially within a dormitory.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small separate part or one of the compartments of a room.
  • n. A small enclosure at a swimming pool etc. used to provide personal privacy when changing.
  • n. A small enclosure in a public toilet for individual use.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A loding room; esp., a sleeping place partitioned off from a large dormitory.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A bedroom; a chamber.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. small individual study area in a library
  • n. small area set off by walls for special use
  • n. small room in which a monk or nun lives


Middle English, from Latin cubiculum, bed chamber, from cubāre, to lie down.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin cubiculum ("bedroom"), from cubō ("lie down") (Wiktionary)



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  • Are you a nun, chained_bear?

    October 27, 2008

  • Dating back to the 1400s, this word stemmed from the Latin cubiculum, meaning "sleeping area" (completely apropos). It became obsolete after the 16th century, but it was revived in the 19th century as a word for "dormitory sleeping compartments." Its use as any partitioned space didn’t surface until the 1920s.

    May 16, 2008