• 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 cauls

Historical Examples

  • The presents which they sent to our General, were feathers, and cauls of network.

    Sir Francis Drake's Famous Voyage Round the World

    Francis Pretty

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

British Dictionary definitions for cauls


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 cauls



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

cauls in Medicine


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