veil


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veil,

a feature of female costume from antiquity, especially in the East, where it was worn primarily to conceal the features. In modern times it is worn to enhance the face. The Egyptian woman of rank, after Muslim influence, wore a transparent white gauze veil; the Greek woman wore a linen veil over the back of her head; the Roman woman favored the beautiful palliolum, a veil that was arranged over the hair and fell to the shoulders. The Middle Ages saw an abundance of veils decorating the extravagant headdresses (see hathat,
headdress developed from the simple close-fitting cap and hood of antiquity. The first hat, which was distinguished as such by having a brim, was the felt petasus of the Greeks, which tied under the chin and was worn by travelers.
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) of the times. In England, during the reign of Elizabeth I, veils of a shawllike nature were fashionable, and it was at that time that the white bridal veil probably became popular in England. The black crepe veil has been worn for mourning since early times. The Spanish mantilla, usually a black or white triangular veil of blonde lace, is worn on the head and falling over the shoulders. The veils of nuns and nurses are patterned after the early forms of the veil. The 20th cent. brought forth a great variety of veils—from large veils worn during the early years of the automobile to delicate, decorative nose veils. The modern veil, of chiffon or net, is often embroidered or embossed. Veils have often had symbolic meanings—of modesty, of religious humility, of bondage. Only since c.1925 have Muslim women been allowed to remove their veils, long symbolic of their servile position. However, with the resurgence of Muslim fundamentalism in the 1980s, the veil was once again required in some Muslim nations.
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veil

[vāl]
(biology)
(meteorology)
A very thin cloud through which objects are visible.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

veil

1. the veil the life of a nun in a religious order and the obligations entailed by it
2. take the veil to become a nun
3. Botany a membranous structure, esp the thin layer of cells connecting the edge of a young mushroom cap with the stipe
4. Anatomy another word for caul
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in classic literature ?
The next day, the whole village of Milford talked of little else than Parson Hooper's black veil. That, and the mystery concealed behind it, supplied a topic for discussion between acquaintances meeting in the street, and good women gossiping at their open windows.
"No," she answered, behind the veil. "We go on with my inquiries."
The streak of daylight being now excluded from the room, Miss Dunross threw back her veil, and took the harp on her knee; seating herself, I observed, with her face turned away from the fire.
"I don't think veils are usually worn with any but white dresses," admitted Anne, "but that is merely a convention; and I am like Mr.
"Four men," said the landlord, "riding a la jineta, with lances and bucklers, and all with black veils, and with them there is a woman in white on a side-saddle, whose face is also veiled, and two attendants on foot."
Success was partial--and fitful--still there was a result: ever and anon, the veil seemed to vanish, in a sudden flash of light: but, before I could fully realise the face, all was dark again.
I looked, and down came Sagramor riding again, with his dust brushed off and is veil nicely re-arranged.
Just at sunset, the air turned cold and the sky cloudy: I went in, Sophie called me upstairs to look at my wedding-dress, which they had just brought; and under it in the box I found your present--the veil which, in your princely extravagance, you sent for from London: resolved, I suppose, since I would not have jewels, to cheat me into accepting something as costly.
Wilson had quickly chosen a position from which he could watch the girl without running much risk of being seen by her, and he remained there hoping she would raise her veil and betray her face.
All times and peoples gaze divers-coloured out of your veils; all customs and beliefs speak divers-coloured out of your gestures.
His eyes, looking serenely and steadily at Rostov, seemed to be veiled by something, as if screened by blue spectacles of conventionality.
Their veils were down, and hid their faces from me.