[man-til-uh, -tee-uh]


a silk or lace head scarf arranged over a high comb and falling over the back and shoulders, worn in Spain, Mexico, etc.
a short mantle or light cape.

Origin of mantilla

1710–20; < Spanish; diminutive of manta Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mantilla

Historical Examples of mantilla

  • Herr Erasmus has given me a small Spanish mantilla and three men's portraits.

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore

  • You have not unpacked your trunk; and here is your bonnet and mantilla ready to be resumed.

    Ernest Linwood

    Caroline Lee Hentz

  • Do you happen to have a handkerchief, a scarf, or a mantilla, that he gave you?


    Prosper Merimee

  • Dicky caught a faint gleam of steel from the folds of her mantilla.

  • It is covered with a veil, open on each side, like a Spanish mantilla.

    Richard I

    Jacob Abbott

British Dictionary definitions for mantilla



a woman's lace or silk scarf covering the shoulders and head, often worn over a comb in the hair, esp in Spain
a similar covering for the shoulders only

Word Origin for mantilla

C18: Spanish, diminutive of manta cloak
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 mantilla

type of large veil, 1717, from Spanish mantilla, diminutive of manta (see manta).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper