- a recess or small room adjacent to or opening out of a room: a dining alcove.
- a recess in a room for a bed, bookcases, or the like.
- any recessed space, as a bower in a garden.
- a recess or niche in the wall of a room, as for a bed, books, etc
- any recessed usually vaulted area, as in a garden wall
- any covered or secluded spot, such as a summerhouse
1670s, “vaulted recess,” from French alcôve (17c.), from Spanish alcoba, from Arabic al-qobbah “the vaulted chamber,” from Semitic base q-b-b “to be bent, crooked, vaulted.”