• synonyms


See more synonyms for caul on Thesaurus.com
  1. a part of the amnion sometimes covering the head of a child at birth.
  2. greater omentum.
  3. a net lining in the back of a woman's cap or hat.
  4. a cap or hat of net formerly worn by women.
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Origin of caul1

1300–50; Middle English calle < Middle French cale, probably back formation from calotte “kind of cap”; see calotte
Can be confusedcall caul cull


  1. a form or plate for pressing a veneer or veneers being glued to a backing or to each other.
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Origin of caul2

< French cale shim < German Keil wedge
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for caul

Historical Examples

  • Lay a small piece of truffle on each cutlet and cover them with pigs' caul.

    The Skilful Cook

    Mary Harrison

  • Oh, father, father, why did they take that caul from my face?

    The Blunders of a Bashful Man

    Metta Victoria Fuller Victor

  • Now, what I want to know is, why didn't they leave that caul where they found it?

    The Blunders of a Bashful Man

    Metta Victoria Fuller Victor

  • No, you could only believe in your caul and your own righteousness.

  • One of the cauls is now laid flat, the veneers upon it and the other caul on top.

British Dictionary definitions for caul


noun anatomy
  1. a portion of the amniotic sac sometimes covering a child's head at birth
  2. a large fold of peritoneum hanging from the stomach across the intestines; the large omentum
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Word Origin

C13: from Old French cale, back formation from calotte close-fitting cap, of Germanic origin
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 caul


early 14c., "close-fitting cap worn by women," from French cale "cap," back-formation from calotte, from Italian callotta, from Latin calautica "type of female headdress with pendent lappets," a foreign word of unknown origin. Medical use, in reference to various membranes, dates to late 14c. Especially of the amnion enclosing the fetus before birth from 1540s. This, if the child is born draped in it, was supersititously supposed to protect against drowning (cauls were advertised for sale in British newspapers through World War I).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

caul in Medicine


  1. A portion of the amnion, especially when it covers the head of a fetus at birth.veil
  2. greater omentum