\ ˈvāl How to pronounce veil (audio) \

Definition of veil

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a length of cloth worn by women as a covering for the head and shoulders and often especially in Eastern countries for the face specifically : the outer covering of a nun's headdress
b : a length of veiling or netting worn over the head or face or attached for protection or ornament to a hat or headdress a bridal veil
c : any of various liturgical cloths especially : a cloth used to cover the chalice
2 : the life of a nun often used in the phrase take the veil
3 : a concealing curtain or cover of cloth
4 : something that resembles a veil a veil of stars especially : something that hides or obscures like a veil lift the veil of secrecy
5 : a covering body part or membrane: such as
a : velum
b : caul


veiled; veiling; veils

Definition of veil (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cover, provide, obscure, or conceal with or as if with a veil

intransitive verb

: to put on or wear a veil

Examples of veil in a Sentence

Noun Veils of moss draped the trees. under the veil of descending darkness the thieves began their operation Verb Her eyes were partially veiled by her long, dark hair. The sun was veiled by clouds.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To begin the look, Kelsey lightly applied a light veil of bareMinerals BAREPRO Performance Wear Liquid Foundation in Sandstone to the entire face for a flawless, even complexion. Seventeen, 2 May 2022 The veil lifted, exposing that in winter months, that giant portion of all Bitcoin was being generated by coal. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 5 Jan. 2022 The veil of secrecy, backers contend, leaves people in the dark about how complaints are handled and whether agencies do an adequate job of policing their officers. Bryn Stole,, 3 Mar. 2021 Several are doing it openly, but most are flying under a veil of secrecy because of the war conditions. Jaclyn Trop, Robb Report, 21 Mar. 2022 Nafisi later studied in America and served as a professor in Tehran but was forced to leave in the 1990s for refusing to wear a veil. Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2022 Alvarado, wearing a white veil over her head, stood up and walked closer to the judges. Washington Post, 29 May 2019 One image showed Rinna smiling while wrapping her arms around Hamlin, her tulle veil wrapped around her arm and her diamond rings on full display. Dave Quinn,, 29 Mar. 2022 As the story goes, Mary prayed at the church’s altar, then spread her veil over the congregation, and the invading armies withdrew. Kayla Harris, The Conversation, 9 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Hindu women in rural communities, particularly in the north, often cover their head or veil their faces with a long scarf — not dissimilar to the Muslim head or face coverings. Washington Post, 15 Mar. 2022 Both communities can be equally delusional in their bigotry and often exalt public figures who veil their dogmatism as 'art' ... Jane Greenway Carr, CNN, 12 Dec. 2021 Websites on the dark web require encryption so users can remain anonymous and veil their location. Brandon Lingle, San Antonio Express-News, 23 June 2021 The truth is, the Trump years only helped veil the fact that the show was at a crossroads then. Zak Jason, Wired, 21 May 2021 García seems to be running out of ways to veil the truth. Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, 7 Dec. 2020 Others lurch out of the dark shadows of cars and trucks, reaching for their faces to veil their noses and mouths. Joe Heim, Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2020 But their optimistic outlook could hardly veil the pervading sense of destabilization setting in as the country struggles to emerge from a generation-defining crisis, just as its politics seem to be deteriorating to new lows, Kevin Liptak writes. Angela Dewan, CNN, 2 Oct. 2020 As the story goes, the Nintendo PlayStation prototype was grouped together with some miscellaneous items that [were] boxed up with a group lot, the contents of which were veiled. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 6 Mar. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of veil


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for veil


Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Latin vēla, plural of vēlum "sail, awning, curtain," going back to *u̯eg-s-lo-, perhaps derivative of a verbal base *u̯eg-, akin to Old Irish -fig- "weaves," Old English wēoce "wick" — more at wick entry 1


Middle English veilen, borrowed from Anglo-French veler, verbal derivative of veil veil entry 1

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Time Traveler for veil

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The first known use of veil was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Veil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for veil


\ ˈvāl How to pronounce veil (audio) \

Kids Definition of veil

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a piece of cloth or net worn usually by women over the head and shoulders and sometimes over the face
2 : something that covers or hides like a veil a veil of secrecy Her hazel eyes, under their veil of long lashes, had a greenish flash to them.— Esther Forbes, Johnny Tremain


veiled; veiling

Kids Definition of veil (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cover with or as if with a piece of cloth or net for the head and shoulders or face


\ ˈvā(ə)l How to pronounce veil (audio) \

Medical Definition of veil

: a covering body part or membrane especially : caul sense 2

More from Merriam-Webster on veil

Nglish: Translation of veil for Spanish Speakers

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


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