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vail1

[veyl] /veɪl/
verb (used with object)
1.
to let sink; lower.
2.
Archaic. to take off or doff (one's hat), as in respect or submission.
Origin of vail1
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English valen, aphetic variant of avalen (now obsolete) < Middle French avaler to move down, verbal derivative of phrase a val down (literally, to the valley) (a to (< Latin ad) + val vale)

vail2

[veyl] /veɪl/ Archaic.
verb (used with or without object)
1.
to be of use or profit; avail.
noun
2.
a tip; gratuity.
Origin
1250-1300; Middle English; aphetic variant of avail

vail3

[veyl] /veɪl/ Obsolete
noun
1.
a veil.
verb (used with object)
2.
to veil.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for vail
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had flung back her vail, and in her white and ghastly face and dilated violet eyes you could read a waiting look.

    A Changed Heart May Agnes Fleming
  • She could see no just cause for the use of that word "poor," in connection with Mrs. vail.

    Hester's Counterpart Jean K. Baird
  • Mrs. Wyndham, Senior, made no attempt to raise her vail during the whole service.

    A Changed Heart May Agnes Fleming
  • Suddenly it seemed to him that the obscurity was rent away like a vail.

    The Son of Monte Christo Jules Lermina
  • There were nine daughters left, three of whom took the vail and the rest formed illustrious marriages.

British Dictionary definitions for vail

vail1

/veɪl/
verb (transitive) (obsolete)
1.
to lower (something, such as a weapon), esp as a sign of deference or submission
2.
to remove (the hat, cap, etc) as a mark of respect or meekness
Word Origin
c14 valen, from obsolete avalen, from Old French avaler to let fall, from Latin ad vallem, literally: to the valley, that is, down, from ad to + vallisvalley

vail2

/veɪl/
noun, verb
1.
an archaic word for avail

vail3

/veɪl/
noun, verb
1.
an archaic spelling of veil
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for vail
n.

"advantage, profit," early 15c., from vail (v.) "to be of use or service" (c.1300), from Old French vail, from valoir "to be of value or worth" (see value (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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