Chiefly with reference to 18th-cent. Venice: a large shawl or veil of a type typically worn by women to cover the head and shoulders, sometimes being supported on a wire frame or headdress. Now rare (chiefly historical or archaic).
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Hester Lynch Thrale (1741–1821), writer. From Italian regional (Venice) zendaletto large square shawl from zendale (also zenda), variant of zendado thin rich silken material + -etto.