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[wim-puh l] /ˈwɪm pəl/
a woman's headcloth drawn in folds about the chin, formerly worn out of doors, and still in use by some nuns.
Chiefly Scot.
  1. a fold or wrinkle, as in cloth.
  2. a curve, bend, or turn, as in a road or river.
verb (used with object), wimpled, wimpling.
to cover or muffle with or as if with a wimple.
to cause to ripple or undulate, as water.
Archaic. to veil or enwrap.
verb (used without object), wimpled, wimpling.
to ripple, as water.
Archaic. to lie in folds, as a veil.
Chiefly Scot. to follow a curving course, as a road or river.
Origin of wimple
before 1100; (noun) Middle English wimple, wimpel, Old English wimpel; cognate with Dutch, Low German wimpel, Old Norse vimpill; (v.) Middle English: to wrap in a wimple, derivative of the noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for wimple
Historical Examples
  • "Give me your cloak and wimple," she bade Diana, and Diana flew to do her bidding.

    Mistress Wilding Rafael Sabatini
  • She pulled her wimple closer to her face, took him by the arm, and drew him with her into the house.

    Mistress Wilding Rafael Sabatini
  • The wimple covered the neck, and was worn chiefly out of doors.

    Earl Hubert's Daughter Emily Sarah Holt
  • She stopped short, drew her wimple round her face, and was gone.

    The Last Of The Barons, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • She was tall and slender, but her features could not be seen for a wimple over her head.

    Sir Nigel Arthur Conan Doyle
  • On the early brasses the wimple under the chin marked the rank of the wearer.

    Stones of the Temple Walter Field
  • Tied round the wimple they sometimes had a snood, or band of silk.

    English Costume

    Dion Clayton Calthrop
  • Upon the head they wore the wimple, the fillet, and about the throat the gorget.

    English Costume

    Dion Clayton Calthrop
  • Her wimple is trimly plaited, and how fashionable is her cloak!

    Old and New London Walter Thornbury
  • Here is a candle-end, which you must hide under your wimple.

    The Norwegian Fairy Book Clara Stroebe
British Dictionary definitions for wimple


a piece of cloth draped around the head to frame the face, worn by women in the Middle Ages and still a part of the habit of some nuns
(Scot) a curve or bend, as in a river
(rare) to ripple or cause to ripple or undulate
(transitive) (archaic) to cover with or put a wimple on
(archaic) (esp of a veil) to lie or cause to lie in folds or pleats
Word Origin
Old English wimpel; related to Old Saxon wimpal, Middle Dutch wumpel, Middle High German bewimpfen to 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 wimple

"head covering for women," especially worn by nuns, Old English wimpel, from Proto-Germanic *wimpilaz (cf. Old Saxon wimpal, Old Frisian wimpel, Middle Dutch, Dutch wimpel, Old High German wimpal, German wimpel, Old Norse vimpill), of obscure origin. Old French guimple (French guimpe) is a Germanic loan-word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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