[ shawl ]
/ ʃɔl /


a square, triangular, or oblong piece of wool or other material worn, especially by women, about the shoulders, or the head and shoulders, in place of a coat or hat outdoors, and indoors as protection against chill or dampness.

Nearby words

  1. shaw, richard norman,
  2. shawabti,
  3. shawarma,
  4. shawinigan,
  5. shawinigan-sud,
  6. shawl collar,
  7. shawl tongue,
  8. shawlie,
  9. shawm,
  10. shawn

Origin of shawl

First recorded in 1655–65, shawl is from the Persian word shāl

Related formsshawl·less, adjectiveshawl·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shawl

British Dictionary definitions for shawl


/ (ʃɔːl) /


a piece of fabric or knitted or crocheted material worn around the shoulders by women or wrapped around a baby

Word Origin for shawl

C17: from Persian shāl

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 shawl



1660s, originally of a type of scarf worn in Asia, from Urdu and other Indian languages, from Persian shal, sometimes said to be named for Shaliat, town in India where it was first manufactured [Klein]. Cf. French châle, Spanish chal, Italian scialle, German Shawl (from English), Russian shal, all ultimately from the same source. As the name of an article of clothing worn by Western women, it is recorded from 1767.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper