Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small loft, garret, or attic.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small loft in the top of a house; a small garret or apartment immediately under the roof.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An upper loft; a garret; the highest room in a building.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A small attic or garret

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

  • noun a small loft or garret

Etymologies

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

[Probably from its use as a roosting place.]

Examples

  • Almost as though planning a coordinated attack, the fire swept through the halls of the second floor in the north wing of the school, and flashed through the cockloft above the classrooms.

    Our Lady of the Angels (OLA) School Fire, December 1, 1958

  • As the fire was climbing consuming the stairway, a pipe chase running from the basement to the cockloft above the second floor false ceiling gave the superheated gases a direct route to the attic, where the temperature rapidly rose higher and higher until it finally reached ignition temperature.

    Our Lady of the Angels (OLA) School Fire, December 1, 1958

  • Almost as though planning a coordinated attack, the fire swept through the halls of the second floor in the north wing of the school, and flashed through the cockloft above the classrooms.

    Archive 2008-11-23

  • As the fire was climbing consuming the stairway, a pipe chase running from the basement to the cockloft above the second floor false ceiling gave the superheated gases a direct route to the attic, where the temperature rapidly rose higher and higher until it finally reached ignition temperature.

    Archive 2008-11-23

  • Janet was inexorable, and seemed already to have tired of my literary confidence; for whenever I drew near the subject, after evading it as long as she could, she made, under some pretext or other, a bodily retreat to the kitchen or the cockloft, her own peculiar and inviolate domains.

    The Surgeon's Daughter

  • Oakum said, “Ay, ay, I see they are both in a story;” and dismissed my fellow-mate to his cockloft, although I proposed that he and I should read and translate, separately, any chapter or verse in the Greek Testament in his possession, by which it would appear whether we or the surgeon spoke truth.

    The Adventures of Roderick Random

  • Queer up there in the cockloft, alone, with stops and locks and keys.

    Ulysses

  • But Aedituus cried to him, Hold, hold, honest friend! strike, wound, poison, kill, and murder all the kings and princes in the world, by treachery or how thou wilt, and as soon as thou wouldst unnestle the angels from their cockloft.

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • But Aedituus cried to him, Hold, hold, honest friend! strike, wound, poison, kill, and murder all the kings and princes in the world, by treachery or how thou wilt, and as soon as thou wouldst unnestle the angels from their cockloft.

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • After the stranger had gone she went to the cockloft to look for her well-dressed favourites, but they had disappeared, and they were never seen afterwards, for they were turned into fairies.

    Welsh Fairy-Tales and Other Stories

Comments

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  • Came across this in a comment about the Free Rice website and word game: "I'm sure the people who put this together had fun.. one of the (incorrect) choices for the meaning of 'cockloft' was 'womb'."

    Actual meaning is, of course, a kind of attic or garret.

    November 21, 2007

  • All day I was the hero of my own stage, or rather of the duke's. It was a principal part that I was playing. But when I retired from this brilliant theatre to my own cockloft, the great lord vanished, and poor Gil Blas was left behind, without a royal image in his pocket, and what was worse, without the means of conjuring up his glorious resemblance.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 8 ch. 5

    October 3, 2008

  • See also garret.

    January 16, 2009