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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

1300–50; 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)


verb (used with or without object)
  1. to be of use or profit; avail.
  1. a tip; gratuity.

Origin of vail2

1250–1300; Middle English; aphetic variant of avail


  1. a veil.
verb (used with object)
  1. to veil.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vailing

Historical Examples

  • Page 110 'vailing' to 'veiling' 'cigar smoke half-veiling his'

    Norine's Revenge; Sir Noel's Heir

    May Agnes Fleming

  • A Scotch mist had risen from the lake, and settled over the mountains, vailing all the grand features of the landscape.

    The Lost Lady of Lone

    E.D.E.N. Southworth

British Dictionary definitions for vailing


verb (tr) 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 + vallis valley


noun, verb
  1. an archaic word for avail


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

Word Origin and History for vailing



"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