One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A white linen cloth worn on the neck and shoulders, under the alb, by a priest celebrating the Eucharist.
- ‘If there was too much starch in the alb that was set out for him or if the strings on his amice were too short, Id hear about it.’
- ‘Many of the older religious orders still wear the amice after the fashion which prevailed in the Middle Ages.’
- ‘I remember Father Young (not much taller than I) standing before the bureau containing his amice and alb, his rope cincture and chasuble.’
2A cap, hood, or cape worn by members of certain religious orders.
cloak, mantle, shawl, wrap, stole, tippetView synonyms
- ‘There the angels also wear star-shaped amices, and their hair is full and wavy, as at Sandford.’
- ‘One occasionally sees an abbreviated form of amice that fastens with snaps.’
- ‘The mandorla, or sunburst, is supported by six angels, wearing girdled albs, gathered at hip level, and amices, with carved looped clouds or stars at their feet.’
Late Middle English: amice (sense 1) from medieval Latin amicia, amisia, of unknown origin; amice (sense 2) from Old French aumusse, from medieval Latin almucia, of unknown origin.
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