Date: 1100-1200
Language: Old North French
Origin: veile, from Latin vela, plural of velum 'sail, curtain, cloth, veil'


1 noun
veil1 [countable]
1DCC a thin piece of material that women wear to cover their faces at formal occasions or for religious reasons:
She lifted her veil with both hands.
a bridal veil

the veil

RRI the system in Islamic countries in which women must cover their hair and faces in public

draw a veil over something

formal to avoid talking about something that happened in the past because it is unpleasant or embarrassing:
I think it best to draw a veil over the whole incident.

veil of secrecy/deceit/silence etc

formal something that hides the truth about a situation:
Watson deserves credit for lifting the veil of secrecy surrounding Brenda's death.
His pornography was covered by a veil of respectability.

veil of mist/cloud/smoke etc

DN a thin layer of mist, cloud etc that makes it difficult to see clearly:
The moon was hidden behind a veil of clouds.

take the veil

old-fashioned to become a nun

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