From Middle English veil, veyl, from Anglo-Norman and Old Northern French veil (“sail, veil, shroud”) (Francien Old French voil, French voile), Latin vēlum (“cloth, covering”). Displaced Middle English scleire, scleyre, sleyre, slyre (“veil”) (compare German Schleier). Doublet of velum and voile.
- (Received Pronunciation, General American) IPA(key): /veɪl/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Rhymes: -eɪl
- Homophones: vale, vail
veil (plural veils)
- Something hung up or spread out to hide or protect the face, or hide an object from view; usually of gauze, crepe, or similar diaphanous material.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, Matthew 27:51:
- The veil of the temple was rent in twain.
- 1667, John Milton, “Book IV”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, →OCLC:
- She, as a veil down to the slender waist, / Her unadorned golden tresses wore.
- (figuratively) Anything that partially obscures a clear view.
- 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, H.L. Brækstad, transl., Folk and Fairy Tales, page 160:
- Above the smoky veil over the town rose Akerhus fort, with its towers standing out in sharp relief against the mirror of the fjord, beyond where the Nœs point loomed as a black shadow.
- A cover; disguise; a mask; a pretense.
- c. 1597 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merry Wiues of Windsor”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene iii]:
- [I will] pluck the borrowed veil of modesty from the so seeming Mistress Page.
- 2007, Zerzan, John, Silence, page 4:
- Beckett complains that "in the forest of symbols" there is never quiet, and longs to break through the veil of language to silence.
- A covering for a person or thing; as, a caul (especially over the head)
- a nun's veil
- a paten veil
- an altar veil
- (biology) The calyptra of mosses.
- (zoology) velum (A circular membrane round the cap of a medusa).
- (mycology) A thin layer of tissue which is attached to or covers a mushroom.
- (mycology) A membrane connecting the margin of the pileus of a mushroom with the stalk; a velum.
- 1903, George Francis Atkinson, chapter VI, in Studies of American Fungi. Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, etc., second edition, New York: Henry Holt:
- The genus Amanita has both a volva and a veil; the spores are white, and the stem is easily separable from the cap.
- An obscuration of the clearness of the tones in pronunciation.
- (figuratively, parapsychology) That which separates the living and the spirit world.
- 1925 July – 1926 May, A[rthur] Conan Doyle, “(please specify the chapter number)”, in The Land of Mist (eBook no. 0601351h.html), Australia: Project Gutenberg Australia, published April 2019:
- "I have heard most furious bigots talking through the veil." "So have I, for that matter," said Malone, "and in this very room."
something to hide an object
covering for a person or thing
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
veil (third-person singular simple present veils, present participle veiling, simple past and past participle veiled)
- (transitive) To dress in, or decorate with, a veil.
- (transitive) To conceal as with a veil.
- The forest fire was veiled by smoke, but I could hear it clearly.
dress in or decorate with a veil
conceal with a veil
See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.
veil (comparative veiler, superlative veilst)
- Een veile vrouw.
- A venal woman.
|Inflection of veil|