Definitions

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

  • n. A recess or partly enclosed extension connected to or forming part of a room.
  • n. A secluded structure, such as a bower, in a garden.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small recessed area set off from a larger room.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A recessed portion of a room, or a small room opening into a larger one; especially, a recess to contain a bed; a lateral recess in a library.
  • n. A small ornamental building with seats, or an arched seat, in a pleasure ground; a garden bower.
  • n. Any natural recess analogous to an alcove or recess in an apartment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A covered recess.
  • n. A recess in an escarpment formed by the more rapid retrogressive erosion of one part than of another.

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

  • n. a small recess opening off a larger room

Etymologies

French alcôve, from Spanish alcoba, from Arabic al-qubba, the vault : al-, the + qubba, vault.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French alcôve, from Spanish or Portuguese alcova, alcoba, from Arabic القبة ‘the vault, chamber with vaulted roof’. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Within the alcove is my ebony rod, wound with the silver serpent.

    The Golden Apple Tree

  • He presses a button and alcove is lighted by electricity, discovering the face of a large safe.

    THEFT

  • (Old Slave Block in St. Louis Hotel, New Orleans -- The name over the middle alcove is "M. Barnett", which was my birth name)

    REFLECTING

  • Allah’s wrath to a black stone, and the Queen thou foundest in the alcove is my mother.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • The alcove is Lilac at Charlie’s request, he picked the colours himself.

    Charlie’s New Room…Makeover Room 1.

  • Looking across the bay or large alcove from the Zejua’s restaurant area, one could see in the distance, like a mirage, this lovely tropical, coconut tree strewn island like beach, “vacant” and worthy of visiting for a life time.

    The First Time You Saw Mexico....

  • This area is an alcove, created by a gap in the center field bleachers, and in the alcove are the stairs that lead to the two clubhouses.

    WILLIE MAYS

  • Tucked in an alcove was a little boy no older than six.

    Rogue Wave

  • On the screen opposite the alcove was a large canvas with a great many square tomato-colored blobs on it, and nothing else, so far as

    To Let

  • In an alcove was a washbasin and a door that led to the outside storage area, mainly used for empty crates and bottles and for washing and peeling vegetables.

    The Summer of My Greek Tavérna

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Comments

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  • The rest of the apartment consists of a dining alcove, living room with television, one bedroom, and bath. -Janet Evanovich/finger lickin' fifteen

    September 22, 2010