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See more synonyms for mantle on Thesaurus.com
  1. a loose, sleeveless cloak or cape.
  2. something that covers, envelops, or conceals: the mantle of darkness.
  3. Geology. the portion of the earth, about 1800 miles (2900 km) thick, between the crust and the core.Compare core1(def 10), crust(def 6).
  4. Zoology. a single or paired outgrowth of the body wall that lines the inner surface of the valves of the shell in mollusks and brachiopods.
  5. a chemically prepared, incombustible network hood for a gas jet, kerosene wick, etc., that, when the jet or wick is lighted, becomes incandescent and gives off a brilliant light.
  6. Ornithology. the back, scapular, and inner wing plumage, especially when of the same color and distinct from other plumage.
  7. mantel.
  8. Metallurgy. a continuous beam set on a ring of columns and supporting the upper brickwork of a blast furnace in such a way that the brickwork of the hearth and bosh may be readily replaced.
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verb (used with object), man·tled, man·tling.
  1. to cover with or as if with a mantle; envelop; conceal.
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verb (used without object), man·tled, man·tling.
  1. to spread or cover a surface, as a blush over the face.
  2. to flush; blush.
  3. (of a hawk) to spread out one wing and then the other over the corresponding outstretched leg.
  4. to be or become covered with a coating, as a liquid; foam: The champagne mantled in the glass.
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Origin of mantle

before 900; Middle English mantel, Old English mæntel < Latin mantellum
Related formsun·man·tled, adjective
Can be confusedmantel mantle

Synonyms for mantle

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  1. Mickey (Charles),1931–95, U.S. baseball player.
  2. (Robert) Burns,1873–1948, U.S. journalist.
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or man·tle

  1. a construction framing the opening of a fireplace and usually covering part of the chimney breast in a more or less decorative manner.
  2. Also called mantelshelf. a shelf above a fireplace opening.
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Origin of mantel

1480–90; earlier mantell mantelet; variant of mantle
Also called man·tel·piece [man-tl-pees] /ˈmæn tlˌpis/, mantlepiece.
Can be confusedmantel mantle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for mantle

veil, covering, blanket, cape, wrap, curtain, screen, pallium

Examples from the Web for mantle

Contemporary Examples of mantle

Historical Examples of mantle

  • She had already selected a mantle to throw over her shoulders.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • He took her mantle from the wall, and tenderly wrapped it round her.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • How still the world outside as the cloud wove in darkness its mantle of light!

    Bride of the Mistletoe

    James Lane Allen

  • With these words she dropped her mantle and turned her face towards us in the moonlight.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The mantle was made of oak-leaves, tied together with little blades of grass.

British Dictionary definitions for mantle


  1. archaic a loose wrap or cloak
  2. such a garment regarded as a symbol of someone's power or authorityhe assumed his father's mantle
  3. anything that covers completely or envelopsa mantle of snow
  4. a small dome-shaped or cylindrical mesh impregnated with cerium or thorium nitrates, used to increase illumination in a gas or oil lamp
  5. Also called: pallium zoology
    1. a protective layer of epidermis in molluscs that secretes a substance forming the shell
    2. a similar structure in brachiopods
  6. ornithol the feathers of the folded wings and back, esp when these are of a different colour from the remaining feathers
  7. geology the part of the earth between the crust and the core, accounting for more than 82% of the earth's volume (but only 68% of its mass) and thought to be composed largely of peridotiteSee also asthenosphere
  8. a less common spelling of mantel
  9. anatomy another word for pallium (def. 3)
  10. a clay mould formed around a wax model which is subsequently melted out
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  1. (tr) to envelop or supply with a mantle
  2. to spread over or become spread overthe trees were mantled with snow
  3. (tr) (of the face, cheeks) to become suffused with blood; flush
  4. (intr) falconry (of a hawk or falcon) to spread the wings and tail over food
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Word Origin for mantle

C13: via Old French from Latin mantellum, diminutive of mantum cloak


less commonly mantle

  1. a wooden or stone frame around the opening of a fireplace, together with its decorative facing
  2. Also called: mantel shelf a shelf above this frame
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Word Origin for mantel

C15: from French, variant of mantle
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 mantle


Old English mentel "loose, sleeveless cloak," from Latin mantellum "cloak" (source of Italian mantello, Old High German mantal, German Mantel, Old Norse mötull), perhaps from a Celtic source. Reinforced and altered 12c. by cognate Old French mantel "cloak, mantle; bedspread, cover" (Modern French manteau), also from the Latin source. Figurative sense "that which enshrouds" is from c.1300. Allusive use for "symbol of literary authority or artistic pre-eminence" is from Elijah's mantle [2 Kings ii:13]. As a layer of the earth between the crust and core (though not originally distinguished from the core) it is attested from 1940.

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"to wrap in a mantle," early 13c.; figurative use from mid-15c., from mantle (n.) or from Old French manteler. Related: Mantled; mantling.

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c.1200, "short, loose, sleeveless cloak," variant of mantle (q.v.). Sense of "movable shelter for soldiers besieging a fort" is from 1520s. Meaning "timber or stone supporting masonry above a fireplace" first recorded 1510s, a shortened form of Middle English mantiltre "mantletree" (late 15c.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mantle in Medicine


  1. A covering layer of tissue.
  2. pallium
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

mantle in Science


  1. The layer of the Earth between the crust and the core. It is about 2,900 km (1,798 mi) thick and consists mainly of magnesium-iron silicate minerals, such as olivine and pyroxene. It has an upper, partially molten part, which is about 660 km (409 mi) thick, and a lower, solid part. The upper mantle is the source of magma and volcanic lava.
  2. The layer of soft tissue that covers the body of a clam, oyster, or other mollusk and secretes the material that forms the shell.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

mantle in Culture


The region of the interior of the Earth between the core (on its inner surface) and the crust (on its outer).

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The mantle is more than two thousand miles thick and accounts for more than three-quarters of the volume of the Earth.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.