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Borrowed from Anglo-Norman, from Old Northern French veil (Francien Old French voil, French voile), Latin vēlum. Displaced Middle English scleire, scleyre, sleyre, slyre (veil). Compare Spanish vela (sail).



veil (plural veils)

  1. Something hung up or spread out to hide or protect the face, or hide an object from view; usually of gauze, crape, or similar diaphanous material.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Bible, Matthew xxvii. 51
      The veil of the temple was rent in twain.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      She, as a veil down to the slender waist, / Her unadorned golden tresses wore.
  2. A cover; disguise; a mask; a pretense.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
      [I will] pluck the borrowed veil of modesty from the so seeming Mistress Page.
    • 2007. Zerzan, John. Silence. p. 4.
      Beckett complains that "in the forest of symbols" there is never quiet, and longs to break through the veil of language to silence.
  3. The calyptra of mosses.
  4. A membrane connecting the margin of the pileus of a mushroom with the stalk; a velum.
  5. A covering for a person or thing; as, a caul (especially over the head)
    a nun's veil
    a paten veil
    an altar veil
  6. (zoology) velum (A circular membrane round the cap of medusa)
  7. (mycology) A thin layer of tissue which is attached to or covers a mushroom.
  8. An obscuration of the clearness of the tones in pronunciation.

Derived termsEdit



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


veil (third-person singular simple present veils, present participle veiling, simple past and past participle veiled)

  1. (transitive) To dress in, or decorate with, a veil.
  2. (transitive) To conceal as with a veil.
    The forest fire was veiled by smoke, but I could hear it clearly.







  1. first-person singular present indicative of veilen
  2. imperative of veilen


veil (comparative veiler, superlative veilst)

  1. venal
    Een veile vrouw.
    A venal woman.


Inflection of veil
uninflected veil
inflected veile
comparative veiler
positive comparative superlative
predicative/adverbial veil veiler het veilst
het veilste
indefinite m./f. sing. veile veilere veilste
n. sing. veil veiler veilste
plural veile veilere veilste
definite veile veilere veilste
partitive veils veilers