Definition of maniple in English:


Pronunciation /ˈmanəpəl/ /ˈmænəpəl/


  • 1A subdivision of a Roman legion, containing either 120 or 60 men.

    ‘A Roman tribune gathered twenty maniples from the rear lines of the Roman right wing and led them in an attack on the flank of the Macedonian right.’
    • ‘But it was here that Scipio's preparation in lining up his troops in separate maniples bore fruit.’
    • ‘A battle-ravaged legion could have only two maniples, a hastily reorganised one could have ten.’
    • ‘By 99 B.C., the army was reformed into cohorts, three maniples to a cohort.’
    • ‘The maniples were arranged in 3 waves of 10 maniples each in a checker-board fashion.’
    • ‘The Hastati were organized into centuries of 60 men, which were arranged into maniples of 120, of which there were 10 in a battle formation.’
  • 2(in church use) a vestment formerly worn by a priest celebrating the Eucharist, consisting of a strip hanging from the left arm.

    ‘They go from the chasuble, wide stole, and maniple of his early priesthood to a succession of increasingly simple garments until they arrive at an academic gown.’
    • ‘Worn since the 6th century by Priests and Deacons in Ravenna, the maniple was incorporated throughout Wesern Europe within 400 years.’
    • ‘The baptism is being conducted by an adult, a robed figure with a halo and a maniple, presumably John the Baptist.’
    • ‘The chasuble, stole and maniple conform to the liturgical colour of the day, which varies according to the feast.’
    • ‘During the liturgical changes after the Council, the maniple became optional.’


Late Middle English (in maniple (sense 2)): from Old French maniple, from Latin manipulus ‘handful, troop’, from manus ‘hand’ + the base of plere ‘fill’.