cloister

Latin: claudere, to enclose

Ecclesiastically cloister means an enclosure for religious retirement; formally, it signifies the legal restrictions opposed to the free egress of those who are enclosed, and to the free entry of outsiders within the limits of the material enclosure. Present canon law requires every convent or monastery of regulars, on its completion, to be encloistered. The houses where only two or three religious dwell permanently and observe their rule as they can, are subject to this law.