Main definitions of vail in US English:

: vail1Vail2

vail1

verb

[with object]archaic
  • 1Take off or lower (one's hat or crown) as a token of respect or submission.

    • ‘Vailing his cap, like them, to the Queen's representatives, he covered himself when he looked at the Pope's delegate.’
    • ‘He vailed his bonnet to no one but a judge.’
    • ‘Turning himself towards the noblemen that sat on a form placed before the scaffold, he vailed his hat.’
    1. 1.1no object Take off one's hat or otherwise show respect or submission to someone.

Origin

Middle English (originally in the sense ‘lower (one's eyes, weapon, banner, etc.) as a sign of submission’): shortening of obsolete avale, from Old French avaler ‘to lower’, from a val ‘down’ (literally ‘in the valley’).

Pronunciation

vail

/veɪl//vāl/

Main definitions of vail in US English:

: vail1Vail2

Vail2

proper noun

  • A town in northern Colorado, a noted ski resort; population 4,768 (est. 2008).

Pronunciation

Vail

/veɪl//vāl/