A cupboard or press (Hiberno-English) is a type of cabinet, often made of wood, used indoors to store household objects such as food and crockery, and protect them from dust and dirt.
As the name suggests, this piece of furniture was originally a simple board or table on which to place cups or mugs - recorded use of such a name dates back to at least the Middle Ages. For the last few centuries, "cupboard" has referred to a storage area enclosed by doors.
The term cupboard originally was used to describe an open shelved side table for displaying plates and 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 it. The word cupboard gradually came to mean a closed piece of furniture.
An airing cupboard
is a large built-in wardrobe
, sometimes of walk-in dimensions, containing a water heater
; typically an immersion heater
for hot running water
rather than 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
. The purpose is to prevent damp rather than to dry wet clothing. Other names include "boiler cupboard", or (in Ireland
) "hot press".