English livery cupboard approximately 1600 to 1640
Decorative crockery and bibelots in vitré armoire or vitrina
Cupboard with bed sheets and towels well dressed

A cupboard or press is a type of cabinet, often made of wood, used indoors to store household objects such as food, crockery, textiles and liquor, and protect them from dust,vermin and dirt.

The term cupboard was originally used to describe an open-shelved side table for displaying plates, cups and saucers. These open cupboards typically had between one and three display tiers, and at the time, a drawer or multiple drawers fitted to them. The word cupboard gradually came to mean a closed piece of furniture.[1] The word press used in Ireland comes from the Irish language word prios.


Types of cupboards

Airing cupboard

An airing cupboard is a large built-in wardrobe, sometimes of walk-in dimensions, containing a water heater; either an immersion heater for hot running water or a boiler for central heating water. Shelves, usually slatted to allow for circulation of heat, are positioned above or around the heater to provide storage for clothing, typically linen and towelling. The purpose is to allow air to circulate around the stored fabrics to prevent damp forming. A shelf can also be used to fully remove traces of damp from dried clothing before it is put away in drawers and wardrobes. Other names include "boiler cupboard", or (in Ireland) "hot press".

Linen cupboard

A linen cupboard is an enclosed recess of a room used for storing household linen, usually with shelves; or a free-standing piece of furniture for this purpose.[2] See also article linen-press.


  1. ^ Andrews, John (2006) British Antique Furniture. Antique Collectors' Club ISBN 1-85149-444-8; p. 226
  2. ^ Bravery, Suzanne (10 May 2008), "The Linen Cupboad" (PDF), Mother's Day Address at Eryldene, Gordon, NSW: Eryldene Trust,, retrieved 2009-03-30 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cupboard — Cup board (k[u^]b b[ e]rd), n. [Cup + board.] 1. A board or shelf for cups and dishes. [Obs.] Bacon. [1913 Webster] 2. A small closet in a room, with shelves to receive cups, dishes, food, etc.; hence, any small closet. [1913 Webster] {Cupboard… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cupboard — Cup board, v. t. To collect, as into a cupboard; to hoard. [R.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cupboard — (n.) late 14c., a board or table to place cups and like objects, from CUP (Cf. cup) (n.) + BOARD (Cf. board) (n.1). As a type of closed cabinet for food, etc., from early 16c …   Etymology dictionary

  • cupboard — [n] storage cabinet buffet, closet, depository, facility, locker, press, repository, sideboard, storeroom, wardrobe; concept 443 …   New thesaurus

  • cupboard — ► NOUN ▪ a piece of furniture or small recess with a door and usually shelves, used for storage. ORIGIN originally denoting a table or sideboard on which cups, plates, etc. were displayed …   English terms dictionary

  • cupboard — [kub′ərd] n. [ME cuppebord: see CUP & BOARD] a closet or cabinet with shelves for holding cups, plates, food, and the like …   English World dictionary

  • cupboard — /kub euhrd/, n. 1. a closet with shelves for dishes, cups, etc. 2. Chiefly Brit. any small closet or cabinet, as for clothes, food, or the like. [1275 1325; ME cuppebord. See CUP, BOARD] * * * ▪ furniture  type of furniture that originated in the …   Universalium

  • cupboard — noun ⇨ See also ↑closet ADJECTIVE ▪ big, deep, large ▪ little, small, tiny ▪ high, low …   Collocations dictionary

  • cupboard */*/ — UK [ˈkʌbə(r)d] / US [ˈkʌbərd] noun [countable] Word forms cupboard : singular cupboard plural cupboards 1) a tall piece of furniture, usually attached to a wall and used for storing things, with shelves inside and one or two doors at the front a… …   English dictionary

  • cupboard — [[t]kʌ̱bə(r)d[/t]] cupboards 1) N COUNT A cupboard is a piece of furniture that has one or two doors, usually contains shelves, and is used to store things. In British English, cupboard refers to all kinds of furniture like this. In American… …   English dictionary

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