See also: mantel and Mantle


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From Middle English mantel, from Old English mæntel, mentel (sleeveless cloak), from Proto-West Germanic *mantil, from Proto-Germanic *mantilaz (mantle); later reinforced by Anglo-Norman mantel, from Latin mantēllum (covering, cloak), diminutive of mantum (French manteau, Spanish manto), probably from Gaulish *mantos, *mantalos (trodden road), from Proto-Celtic *mantos, *mantlos, from Proto-Indo-European *menH- (tread, press together; crumble).



mantle (plural mantles)

  1. A piece of clothing somewhat like an open robe or cloak, especially that worn by Orthodox bishops. (Compare mantum.) [from 9th c.]
  2. (figuratively) A figurative garment representing authority or status, capable of affording protection.
    At the meeting, she finally assumed the mantle of leadership of the party.
    The movement strove to put women under the protective mantle of civil rights laws.
  3. (figuratively) Anything that covers or conceals something else; a cloak. [from 9th c.]
  4. (malacology) The body wall of a mollusc, from which the shell is secreted. [from 15th c.]
    • 1990, Daniel L. Gilbert, William J. Adelman, John M. Arnold (editors), Squid as Experimental Animals, page 71:
      He grasps the female from slightly below about the mid-mantle region and positions himself so his arms are close to the opening of her mantle.
    • 2017, Danna Staaf, Squid Empire, ForeEdge, →ISBN, page 8:
      Molluscan bodies are broadly divided into two parts: a muscular foot and a shell-secreting mantle.
  5. (ornithology) The back of a bird together with the folded wings.
  6. The zone of hot gases around a flame.
  7. A gauzy fabric impregnated with metal nitrates, used in some kinds of gas and oil lamps and lanterns, which forms a rigid but fragile mesh of metal oxides when heated during initial use and then produces white light from the heat of the flame below it. (So called because it is hung above the lamp's flame like a mantel.) [from 19th c.]
  8. The outer wall and casing of a blast furnace, above the hearth[1].
  9. A penstock for a water wheel.
  10. (anatomy) The cerebral cortex. [from 19th c.]
  11. (geology) The layer between the Earth's core and crust. [from 20th c.]
  12. A fireplace shelf; Alternative spelling of mantel
  13. (heraldry) A mantling.

Derived termsEdit



mantle (third-person singular simple present mantles, present participle mantling, simple past and past participle mantled)

  1. (transitive) To cover or conceal (something); to cloak; to disguise.
    • 1610-11, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V, Scene I
      As the morning steals upon the night, Melting the darkness; so their rising senses Begin to chace the ign'rant fumes, that mantle Their clearer reason.
    • 1610-11, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act IV, Scene I
      I left them I' th' filthy mantled pool beyond your cell, There dancing up to th' chins.
  2. (intransitive) To become covered or concealed. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  3. (intransitive) To spread like a mantle (especially of blood in the face and cheeks when a person flushes).


  1. ^ 1881, Rossiter W. Raymond, A Glossary of Mining and Metallurgical Terms

Further readingEdit