vail

verb
\ ˈvāl How to pronounce vail (audio) \
vailed; vailing; vails

Definition of vail

transitive verb

: to lower often as a sign of respect or submission

First Known Use of vail

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vail

Middle English valen, partly borrowed from Anglo-French valer (short for avaler "to lower") & partly short for Middle English avalen "to let fall," borrowed from Anglo-French avaler, verbal derivative of aval "downward," from a "to" (going back to Latin ad) + val "valley" — more at at entry 1, vale

Learn More About vail

Time Traveler for vail

Time Traveler

The first known use of vail was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near vail

Vaibhasika

vail

vain

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for vail

Cite this Entry

“Vail.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vail. Accessed 9 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on vail

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about vail

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!