\ ˈshȯl How to pronounce shawl (audio) \

Definition of shawl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a square or oblong usually fabric garment or wrapper used especially as a covering for the head or shoulders


shawled; shawling; shawls

Definition of shawl (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to wrap in or as if in a shawl

Examples of shawl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That a couple would travel such a distance, toting roses and a Russian shawl, to visit a former landlady — of all minor associations — struck me: later in life, how mundane a relationship is so valuable. Deborah Milstein,, "The celebration of a lifetime," 9 Aug. 2019 The women kneel on the cool marble, their heads draped by shawls bearing the initials NJG. Brittny Mejia,, "Sex crime case renews tension in Mexico between Catholics and evangelical church," 27 June 2019 Elsewhere, a bejeweled python adorned one female model’s neck like a shawl on sheer black fabric, exposing the nipples and the vulnerability of human flesh. Washington Post, "Dior goes black in Paris show that celebrates couture roots," 1 July 2019 When the National American Woman Suffrage Association convention met in Washington in 1898—the 30th anniversary of the event—media coverage focused on Anthony’s trademark shawl. Kimberly Chrisman-campbell, The Atlantic, "When American Suffragists Tried to ‘Wear the Pants’," 12 June 2019 As for Ghali, the lanky, 25-year-old rapper known for his smooth flow and highly stylized videos (not to mention a wildly enthusiastic fan base!), looked equally divine in a semi-sheer shirt with baroque ruffled collar and an embroidered shawl. Vogue, "This Italian Power Couple Shutdown the Front Row at Gucci’s Cruise Show," 28 May 2019 For more information or to request a shawl, call Lani at 860-875-3632., "Community News For The Vernon Edition," 13 June 2019 Women wearing long skirts and heads covered in red, black and white lace shawls chanted hymns. Ruben Vives,, "La Luz del Mundo church leader held on $50-million bail in rape, child porn case," 5 June 2019 Indeed, pictures of Howe at this time show her with downcast eyes, a bonnet, and a shawl. Elaine Showalter, The New York Review of Books, "Whitman, Melville, & Julia Ward Howe: A Tale of Three Bicentennials," 27 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shawl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of shawl


1662, in the meaning defined above


1812, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shawl


Persian shāl

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Statistics for shawl

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for shawl

The first known use of shawl was in 1662

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More Definitions for shawl



English Language Learners Definition of shawl

: a piece of cloth that is used especially by women as a covering for the head or shoulders


\ ˈshȯl How to pronounce shawl (audio) \

Kids Definition of shawl

: a square or oblong piece of cloth used especially by women as a loose covering for the head or shoulders

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More from Merriam-Webster on shawl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shawl

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shawl

Spanish Central: Translation of shawl

Nglish: Translation of shawl for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shawl for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about shawl

Comments on shawl

What made you want to look up shawl? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

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