• synonyms


  1. an ecclesiastical vestment consisting of a narrow strip of silk or other material worn over the shoulders or, by deacons, over the left shoulder only, and arranged to hang down in front to the knee or below.Compare tippet(def 2).
  2. a woman's shoulder scarf of fur, marabou, silk, or other material.Compare tippet(def 1).
  3. a long robe, especially one worn by the matrons of ancient Rome.
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Origin of stole2

before 950; Middle English, Old English < Latin stola < Greek stolḗ clothing, robe; akin to Greek stéllein to array, Old English stellan to place, put
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

jacket, shawl, fur, mantle, coat, blanket, cover, cloak, cape

Examples from the Web for stoles

Historical Examples

  • Stoles, as distinguished from the scarves of chaplains, have no legal authority.

    The Legal Position of the Clergy

    P. V. Smith

  • The flanks are usually cut off and made into muffs and stoles.

  • Over the gate to the altar hung two stoles of red velvet, in which the priest who said the mass would robe himself.

    The Vintage

    Edward Frederic Benson

  • She perceived that they were soldiers disguised in stoles and hoods taken from the sacristy of the Abbaye aux Dames.

  • When cut it "stoles" or throws up shoots very freely, and when treated so will live a hundred years.


    Juliana Horatia Ewing

British Dictionary definitions for stoles


  1. the past tense of steal
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  1. a long scarf or shawl, worn by women
  2. a long narrow scarf worn by various officiating clergymen
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Word Origin

Old English stole, from Latin stola, Greek stolē clothing; related to stellein to array
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 stoles



Old English stole "long robe, scarf-like garment worn by clergymen," from Latin stola "robe, vestment," from Greek stole "a long robe;" originally "garment, equipment," from root of stellein "to place, array," with a secondary sense of "to put on" robes, etc., from PIE root *stel- "to put, stand" (see stall (n.1)). Meaning "women's long garment of fur or feathers" is attested from 1889.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper