Definition of tunicle in US English:



  • A short liturgical vestment which is traditionally worn over the alb by a subdeacon at celebrations of the Mass.

    • ‘The copes, the vestments, the tunicles, stood for Roman Catholicism.’
    • ‘The tunicle is an adaptation of the Roman Tunic, which would have had short or no sleeves and be no longer than knee length.’
    • ‘If you can't find your rochet from your chimere, a tunicle from a maniple, or just love a good linguistic ramble, this is the place for you.’
    • ‘There are two very fine black tunicles that are used by the clerk and crucifer on All Souls Day.’
    • ‘I may have been wrong about the exact description of the vestment she wore, but it looked like a tunicle to me!’
    • ‘Daniel showed us his newly purchased tunicle which also came with a stole and a couple of maniples.’
    • ‘The tunicle, designed by Andrew, matches the existing Lenten Array.’
    • ‘This picture shows the Cross-bearer of Westminster Abbey vested in albe, amice, and tunicle, accompanied by two Servers in apparelled albe and amice.’
    • ‘On feast days, and other special days, the Lay Reader will also wear a tunicle over his or her alb.’
    • ‘The dalmatic and tunicle are modified chasubles worn by the deacon and subdeacon respectively at a high Mass.’
    • ‘Dalmatics and tunicles should not be worn.’


Late Middle English: from Old French tunicle or Latin tunicula, diminutive of tunica (see tunica).