Definition of veil in English:

veil

Pronunciation /vāl/ /veɪl/

Translate veil into Spanish

noun

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

    • ‘a white bridal veil’
    face covering, veiling
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    1. 1.1A piece of fabric forming part of a nun's headdress, resting on the head and shoulders.
    2. 1.2(in Jewish antiquity) the piece of precious cloth separating the sanctuary from the body of the Temple or the Tabernacle.
  • 2A thing that serves to cover, conceal, or disguise.

    ‘a veil of mist and snow lay over the landscape’
    • ‘the venture is shrouded in a veil of secrecy’
    covering, cover, screen, shield, curtain, layer, film, mantle, cloak, mask, blanket, shroud, canopy, cloud, blur, haze, mist, pall
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  • 3Botany
    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.

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Cover with a veil.

    ‘she veiled her face’
    • ‘Unexpectedly, a cover of sadness veiled her eyes and her voice took a gloomy turn.’
    • ‘In each work, the encrusted outer coating veils a delicate drama of line, light and shadow that takes place just beneath the surface.’
    • ‘Stephens veils the pastoral subjects with milky washes that streak the surface, and a brown glaze that drips languorously down it.’
    • ‘The symbolic white that covers the marriage bed also veils this woman's face.’
    • ‘Bahraini women were never as strict as other Arabs about covering themselves up in public, and many no longer veil their faces at all.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The look of the film however is spectacular, and often veils its shortcoming.’
    • ‘Both have an amiable and easy exterior that often veils their technical brilliance.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Abattoirs were erected in outlying suburbs - consolidating slaughtering, bringing it under stricter control, veiling it from the public eye.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The growing national movement facilitated this, because the capitalist class could always veil their demands as national demands.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘The women of the city maintain the custom of veiling their faces, except for the slaves who sell all the foodstuffs.’
    • ‘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.’
    envelop, surround, swathe, enfold, cover, cover up, conceal, hide, secrete, camouflage, disguise, mask, screen, shield, cloak, blanket, shroud, enwrap, canopy, overlay
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  • 2Cover, conceal, or disguise.

    ‘cold mists veiled the mountain peaks’
    • ‘he wasn't able to veil his disappointment’
    • ‘the development of these technologies has been veiled in secrecy’
    • ‘Its mention of ‘high-profile cases’ was a thinly veiled reference to Andrew.’
    • ‘So far it looks like a thinly veiled threat to drag the process out in legalistic wranglings.’
    • ‘During his brief stop, Howard issued two thinly veiled threats.’
    • ‘Until now it has remained undocumented, the circumstances of its commissioning veiled in utter obscurity.’
    • ‘Big Brother was populated with thinly veiled, needy egos desperate to be noticed so that they could hide their distinct lack of character.’
    • ‘This is obviously a thinly veiled attempt to avoid accusations of sexism.’
    • ‘In a thinly veiled attempt to mobilise lynch mobs, the press gleefully reported calls for the two to be hunted down and punished.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ms. McPherson is so obviously a thinly veiled smoker that it's ridiculous.’
    • ‘Private clinics providing thinly veiled opportunities for queue-jumping have expanded.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There is a thinly veiled measure of ideological and partisan bias driving this entire matter.’
    • ‘He alleges Cheng appeared to offer veiled threats against his wife and daughter and wanted to talk about the radio show.’
    • ‘His thinly veiled criticism of the management of the unit has been expressed more openly this weekend by the founder of the unit.’
    • ‘Brown also used his speech to deliver a series of thinly veiled warnings to his rivals in the higher echelons of the government.’
    • ‘Plath and I both used thinly veiled fiction to cope with a very real fear - the death of a loved one.’
    covert, surreptitious, hidden, concealed, disguised, camouflaged, masked, suppressed, underlying, unrevealed, implied, indirect, hinted at
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Phrases

    draw a veil over
    • Avoid discussing or calling attention to (something), especially because it is embarrassing or unpleasant.

      ‘I will draw a veil over the cheerless days that followed’
      • ‘Anyone can have an off day, and we'll draw a veil over which one of us it was.’
      • ‘Mr Khatami unintentionally drew a veil over a system that everyone knows is terrible.’
      • ‘After a humiliating pasting at the by-election earlier this year, where they didn't just lose the MSP seat but slumped into third place, one would have thought Labour would have been keen to draw a veil over a memorably inept campaign.’
      • ‘They tried to draw a veil over the horrors of the recent past - to pretend, as far as possible, that Auschwitz and Dachau had never happened, and that all we needed to worry about was the length of ladies' skirts when worn at Henley Regatta.’
      • ‘I never did get to lift the League Cup as captain of Celtic, and if you don't mind I'll draw a veil over the other final I played in during the 1990s which Raith Rovers won on penalties.’
      • ‘I'll draw a veil over the next ten nights of pain, thirst and hallucination except to say that it was all worth it and I'm now back home gradually regaining my health and strength.’
      • ‘Similarly, he prefers to draw a veil over his first year at university, which was clearly unhappy for reasons not totally related to his indifference to Fellini movies.’
      • ‘Anyway we'll draw a veil over the second course.’
      • ‘I will draw a veil over the following three years of delays and denials and posturing and game-playing, although it was no game to me.’
      • ‘I can't change it, I can't make it better, so I have to draw a veil over it.’
    take the veil
    • Become a nun.

      ‘As it happened, her friend and counselor there, Mother Dolores, was none other than former actress Dolores Hart, the fresh-faced beauty who had given Elvis Presley his first screen kiss in ‘Loving You ‘before taking the veil.’’
      • ‘Does she still want to take the veil / And clothe herself in white and grey?’
      • ‘The entrepreneur attended seminary before proving his worth in the family firm, his brothers served the cross, and his daughter, who took the veil, set up the Salesians in their hometown of Schio.’
      • ‘Griffith Gaunt, an impoverished gentleman of Cumberland, wishes to marry Kate Payton, a spirited and ardent young Roman Catholic, who dreams of taking the veil but feels at the same time bound to the world.’
      • ‘Annina, the lead character, is destined to take the veil whilst her misunderstanding ‘loving’ brother Michele not only opposes her decision but finds himself at loggerheads with everyone else.’
      • ‘The hunt of a mysterious white deer, whose sudden appearance deflects the king and gives Osyth the opportunity to take the veil, also gives the opportunity for further clarification of the king's psychology.’
      • ‘He denies her one surpassing wish, which is to take the veil.’
      • ‘Eliza requests that Jane stay a second week, finally informing her that she plans to enter a convent and take the veil for the rest of her life.’
      • ‘One widow vowed that if her daughter recovered from her sickbed, the girl would take the veil as a nun.’
    beyond the veil
    • In a mysterious or hidden place or state, especially the unknown state of life after death.

      ‘Billy realized that his father had passed irrevocably beyond the veil’
      • ‘Why do we continue to find it so difficult to see beyond the veil of race?’
      • ‘The Ghost made eye contact with no one and offered not one single wisdom from beyond the veil.’
      • ‘You know, I believe that a lot of paranormal experiences are definitely due to interdimensional glimpses and interaction between our energies and those beyond the veil of this dimension.’
      • ‘She had gone, as she called it, ‘beyond the veil’ and she'd come back at my calling, at my individuated mind, to bring me back beyond the veil again, into that place where there is no judgement, where there is only peace and love.’
      • ‘‘Anything that has past beyond the veil of the living is with in my power’ He closed his eyes again and went silent for a while and Leara held him tightly then he spoke again.’
      • ‘Think of those who have passed beyond the veil… family, friends, animal companions, strangers.’
      • ‘That this was happening just beyond the veil of visible reality.’
      • ‘These are indeed messages from someone who loves you beyond the veil.’
      • ‘The first thing indeed is to endorse the tributes made to our respected one who has passed beyond the veil.’
      • ‘Man is, as Plato defined it, is capable of knowing what lies beyond the veil of sense perception.’

Origin

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