Cell (Lat. cella).
1. In classical archseology cella is applied to a cave or cellar to preserve wine, oil, or other provision. It also was applied to the enclosed space of a temple, to bath-rooms, to the sleeping apartments of slaves.
2. From this last use of the word it was transferred in the fourth century to the sleeping apartments of monks and nuns in cloisters (q.v.). These at first held three or four occupants, but later they usually received but one person. These cells are small, have one door and window, and are generally plainly furnished.
3. The word was also applied to a monastic dwelling, either for a single monk or for a community, subordinate to some great abbey. The former was mostly the abode of hermits, and erected in solitary places. SEE HERMITAGE. In the Quirinal Palace at Rome are the cells of the conclave (q.v.).