Definition of veil in English:

veil

noun

  • 1A piece of fine material worn by women to protect or conceal the face:

    ‘a white bridal veil’
    • ‘Women wear long dresses with embroidered bodices and side panels, and tall hats with long white veils.’
    • ‘Like Nana's clothed bathing, the veil protects her from invasive gazes.’
    • ‘Traditionally, the bride wears a white gown and a veil.’
    • ‘Black party hats with veils made of black pantyhose or some other translucent material can also be made.’
    • ‘Despite a gloomy weather forecast, the sun shone, and the very long, winding, narrow lanes festooned with mayflower like bridal veils, were negotiated without meeting any traffic coming the other way.’
    • ‘She wore a long, fawn-coloured dust-cloak, a black, close-fitting toque, and a dark veil which concealed the greater part of her face.’
    • ‘N'gone, El Hadji's new wife, is dressed for a Western white wedding and her face is covered with a bridal veil.’
    • ‘The Monteratsch Glacier spread down from it like a silky, white, bridal veil.’
    • ‘She wore a newly fashioned gown of shimmering white, a delicate veil and a golden circlet.’
    • ‘It was a caricature of Diedra, in her usual blue and grey shipsuit, but with a white bridal veil flowing behind her onto the floor.’
    • ‘Trembling brush strokes imply human frailty, just as the screen-like haze evokes a veil drawn over more troubled memories.’
    • ‘The school dental service began in 1921-two years later the first dental nurses, dressed in white smocks and veils, marched into schools in Hawke's Bay.’
    • ‘The simple veil headpiece works great with elaborate bridal gowns since the veil does not detract from the overall look.’
    • ‘It was after the ceremony that the veil was lifted and the groom and bride were able to kiss which is the symbol of a beginning of a physical relationship.’
    • ‘For a dinner of state, like tonight, the dancers were covered in light, flowing material with veils, only their faces showing.’
    • ‘My hair was in ringlets, pinned to my head under the gauzy material of a veil, and the dried roses in my hands released the odd petal.’
    • ‘I gave him a wide eyed innocent stare from under my bridal white veil.’
    • ‘A helper was on hand, not to tame the bridal veil but to dispose of the accumulating wrappers.’
    • ‘She was entirely covered from head to toe, her hands in long black gloves, her head shrouded in a white veil, with two small eye slits.’
    • ‘Because she was protected by a red veil, Veiel concluded that it was caused by the sun's chemical rays.’
    face covering, veiling
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A piece of fabric forming part of a nun's headdress, resting on the head and shoulders.
      • ‘And the nuns had black uniforms and black and white veils, which disguised their faces and covered their hair.’
    2. 1.2 A thing that conceals, disguises, or obscures something:
      ‘shrouded in an eerie veil of mist’
      • ‘Shame has been the veil through which many of us have viewed our naked bodies at times.’
      • ‘Ayrshire landmark Ailsa Craig is swathed in a layer of mist, thick enough to maintain a veil of secrecy.’
      • ‘They were now all crouching just behind a thin veil of vegetation.’
      • ‘The veil is a semi-transparent cloth screen worked with a grid of threads, set up between the artist and his subject, which allows him to plot what he sees onto gridded paper or a gridded canvas.’
      • ‘He was clad in a black ragged cloak that hung around his body like a veil of darkness.’
      • ‘Tessa was driving, squinting through the veil of rain that obscured all vision not 50 yards ahead.’
      • ‘I looked up at the beautiful, full moon, partially obscured by a thin veil of mist, and found what I was looking for.’
      • ‘Floaters are described by patients as fine dots, veils, cobwebs, clouds, or strings.’
      • ‘A glitch at Amazon's Canadian site has briefly lifted the veil of anonymity which protected the identities of reviewers.’
      • ‘If successful, Stardust will become only the third spacecraft to capture such a close view of the dark heart of a comet, normally obscured by a bright veil of dust and gas.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the elected representatives are no less prone to abuse power and to enrich themselves behind the veil of ‘official secrecy’.’
      • ‘He embarked on his trip to the North Pole under a veil of secrecy to avoid any attempt of the ‘prize’ being robbed from him by another solo competitor.’
      • ‘I found a parrotfish hiding in a cave, debris from its diaphanous veil of mucus wafting back and forth with each slight swell.’
      • ‘The sunset was no longer visible now; the storm had obscured it with its veil of darkness.’
      • ‘The horse stopped and beneath the veil of leaves, Legacy could see her brother's well worn leather boots.’
      • ‘Other maps, drafted in expectation of development, cast a spectral veil of streets over the rural landscape.’
      • ‘The music behind him feels bolder and more courageous, too, as the veil of obscurity that guarded so much of their previous releases has vanished.’
      • ‘Now we were driving through bleak glens with stunted conifers, gushing ice-melt streams and mist snagged in tattered veils on the crags like the wraiths of lost warriors.’
      • ‘It would only disguise qualitative assessment behind the veil of a quantitative expression.’
      • ‘Behind them was what looked like a veil of leaves.’
      covering, cover, screen, shield, curtain, layer, film, mantle, cloak, mask, blanket, shroud, canopy, cloud, blur, haze, mist, pall
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 (in Jewish antiquity) the piece of precious cloth separating the sanctuary from the body of the Temple or the Tabernacle.
      • ‘And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.’
      • ‘The Holy of holies was separate from the rest of the Tabernacle by a heavy veil or curtain.’
      • ‘Jesus' death was immediately followed by the veil of the temple being tom in two, from top to bottom.’
      • ‘The tabernacle's veils, composed of 4 colours were related to the 4 elements.’
      • ‘Hebrews revisits two emphases from recent weeks: the new covenant and the sanctuary veil.’
  • 2Botany
    A membrane which is attached to the immature fruiting body of some toadstools and ruptures in the course of development, either (universal veil) enclosing the whole fruiting body or (partial veil) joining the edges of the cap to the stalk.

    • ‘The English name refers to the gossamer veil which protects the gills when the cap is in its unexpanded state, and which bears some resemblance to a spider's web.’
    • ‘Extending from the stem to the margin of the cap, and covering the gills, is the partial veil - a membranaceous, white texture of varying thickness.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Cover with or as if with a veil:

    ‘she veiled her face’
    • ‘The symbolic white that covers the marriage bed also veils this woman's face.’
    • ‘The play's most penetrating moments occur when Ensler veils her disgust and sorrow at the lengths some women will go to to achieve physical perfection, under a veneer of sharp characterisation and acerbic wit.’
    • ‘Stephens veils the pastoral subjects with milky washes that streak the surface, and a brown glaze that drips languorously down it.’
    • ‘A frigate churned majestically through the Humber yesterday, an eerie spirit from the days of Nelson and Hornblower that cut through the grey fog veiling the sunrise over the estuary.’
    • ‘When Madonna steps out of her car, wearing a cream coat and veiled hat, everyone is excited about the wedding theory for about five minutes.’
    • ‘The decorative, formal and iconographical nature of the artworks veil the confused personal tensions always present in relationships.’
    • ‘They veil the simple wisdom of the Buddha's words, and distract us from it.’
    • ‘In each work, the encrusted outer coating veils a delicate drama of line, light and shadow that takes place just beneath the surface.’
    • ‘Both have an amiable and easy exterior that often veils their technical brilliance.’
    • ‘The women of the city maintain the custom of veiling their faces, except for the slaves who sell all the foodstuffs.’
    • ‘Glazed walls are layered with cypress louvers, which veil the street facade from sun and traffic.’
    • ‘However, the risk is that the spectacle veils the music.’
    • ‘It's largely thanks to him that the film pulls off a remarkable balancing act, neither veiling Aboriginal traditions in romantic mystery nor seeking to define their essential truths.’
    • ‘Abattoirs were erected in outlying suburbs - consolidating slaughtering, bringing it under stricter control, veiling it from the public eye.’
    • ‘Unexpectedly, a cover of sadness veiled her eyes and her voice took a gloomy turn.’
    • ‘The growing national movement facilitated this, because the capitalist class could always veil their demands as national demands.’
    • ‘The look of the film however is spectacular, and often veils its shortcoming.’
    • ‘Bahraini women were never as strict as other Arabs about covering themselves up in public, and many no longer veil their faces at all.’
    • ‘Women who adopted the veil helped to promulgate the re - veiling movement by encouraging female friends and relatives to do the same.’
    • ‘The remaining fabric is swept across the upper half of the body, covering at least one shoulder and sometimes veiling the head.’
    envelop, surround, swathe, enfold, cover, cover up, conceal, hide, secrete, camouflage, disguise, mask, screen, shield, cloak, blanket, shroud, enwrap, canopy, overlay
    obscure, shade, shadow, eclipse, cloud, blot out, block out, blank out, obliterate, overshadow
    enshroud, mantle, bedim, benight, becloud, befog
    obnubilate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1usually as adjective veiled Partially conceal, disguise, or obscure:
      ‘a thinly veiled threat’
      • ‘Plath and I both used thinly veiled fiction to cope with a very real fear - the death of a loved one.’
      • ‘That was a pretty thinly veiled shot at Van Exel, who did not take the comments kindly.’
      • ‘It was a thinly veiled attempt to provide medical cover for intensely political decisions.’
      • ‘In a thinly veiled attempt to mobilise lynch mobs, the press gleefully reported calls for the two to be hunted down and punished.’
      • ‘His thinly veiled criticism of the management of the unit has been expressed more openly this weekend by the founder of the unit.’
      • ‘Private clinics providing thinly veiled opportunities for queue-jumping have expanded.’
      • ‘Has Abbott put spin on it so many years later to turn him into the good guy and add a thinly veiled advocacy of adoption over abortion?’
      • ‘Brown also used his speech to deliver a series of thinly veiled warnings to his rivals in the higher echelons of the government.’
      • ‘During his brief stop, Howard issued two thinly veiled threats.’
      • ‘Ms. McPherson is so obviously a thinly veiled smoker that it's ridiculous.’
      • ‘Its mention of ‘high-profile cases’ was a thinly veiled reference to Andrew.’
      • ‘This is obviously a thinly veiled attempt to avoid accusations of sexism.’
      • ‘There is a thinly veiled measure of ideological and partisan bias driving this entire matter.’
      • ‘Big Brother was populated with thinly veiled, needy egos desperate to be noticed so that they could hide their distinct lack of character.’
      • ‘Until now it has remained undocumented, the circumstances of its commissioning veiled in utter obscurity.’
      • ‘He alleges Cheng appeared to offer veiled threats against his wife and daughter and wanted to talk about the radio show.’
      • ‘If I have one criticism, it's the fact that the Olympic thing was just a thinly veiled premise designed to give the two women an excuse to go on tour.’
      • ‘She's Steve Jobs' biological sister, and it's said to be a thinly veiled portrait of his life, so I feel it's a bit of a call of duty read.’
      • ‘It is, in fact, a thinly veiled autobiography and nothing less than a catalogue of disastrous dates - a tale of whine and roses.’
      • ‘So far it looks like a thinly veiled threat to drag the process out in legalistic wranglings.’
      covert, surreptitious, hidden, concealed, disguised, camouflaged, masked, suppressed, underlying, unrevealed, implied, indirect, hinted at
      ill-defined, indistinct, vague, obscure, unclear
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French veil(e), from Latin vela, plural of velum (see velum).

Pronunciation:

veil

/veɪl/