an act of covering with or as if with a veil.
a veil.
a thin net for veils.

Origin of veiling

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at veil, -ing1




a piece of opaque or transparent material worn over the face for concealment, for protection from the elements, or to enhance the appearance.
a piece of material worn so as to fall over the head and shoulders on each side of the face, forming a part of the headdress of a nun.
the life of a nun, especially a cloistered life.
something that covers, separates, screens, or conceals: a veil of smoke; the veil of death.
a mask, disguise, or pretense: to find fault under a veil of humor.
Botany, Anatomy, Zoology. a velum.
Mycology. a membrane that covers the immature mushroom of many fungi and breaks apart as the mushroom expands, leaving distinctive remnants on the cap, stalk, or stalk base.
Scot. and North England. a caul.

verb (used with object)

to cover or conceal with or as with a veil: She veiled her face in black. A heavy fog veiled the shoreline.
to hide the real nature of; mask; disguise: to veil one's intentions.

verb (used without object)

to don or wear a veil: In certain Islamic countries women must veil.

Origin of veil

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English veile < Anglo-French < Latin vēla, neuter plural (taken in VL as feminine singular) of vēlum covering; (v.) Middle English veilen < Anglo-French veiler, derivative of veile
Related formsveil·less, adjectiveveil·like, adjective
Can be confusedvale veil Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for veiling

Historical Examples of veiling

  • I had seen the bones of my own hand through the veiling flesh.

  • "I am just wondering whether I have outgrown my nun's veiling," she said simply.

    Nell, of Shorne Mills

    Charles Garvice

  • The thunders continued, the smoke drifted heavily, veiling all movements.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • Veiling our faces, we must take silently the hand of Duty to follow her.

    The Biglow Papers

    James Russell Lowell

  • All the sky was smoke, veiling the upper end of the valley and of the ridge.

British Dictionary definitions for veiling



a veil or the fabric used for veils



Simone (Annie) (simɔn). born 1927, French stateswoman; president of the European Parliament (1979–82): a survivor of Nazi concentration camps



a piece of more or less transparent material, usually attached to a hat or headdress, used to conceal or protect a woman's face and head
part of a nun's headdress falling round the face onto the shoulders
something that covers, conceals, or separates; maska veil of reticence
the veil the life of a nun in a religious order and the obligations entailed by it
take the veil to become a nun
Also called: velum botany a membranous structure, esp the thin layer of cells connecting the edge of a young mushroom cap with the stipe
anatomy another word for caul


(tr) to cover, conceal, or separate with or as if with a veil
(intr) to wear or put on a veil
Derived Formsveiler, nounveilless, adjectiveveil-like, adjective

Word Origin for veil

C13: from Norman French veile, from Latin vēla sails, pl of vēlum a covering
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 veiling



late 14c., from Old French veler, voiller, from Latin velare "to cover, veil," from velum (see veil (n.)). Figurative sense of "to conceal" (something immaterial) is recorded from 1530s. Related: Veiled; veiling.



early 13c., from Anglo-French and Old North French veil (Old French voile) "a head-covering," also "a sail," from Latin vela, plural of velum "sail, curtain, covering," from PIE root *weg- "to weave a web." Vela was mistaken in Vulgar Latin for a feminine singular noun. To take the veil "become a nun" is attested from early 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for veiling




The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for veiling



A membranous covering or part, especially a membrane surrounding the young mushrooms of certain basidiomycete fungi. In some species the membrane (called a partial veil) extends only from the stalk to the cap. As the cap expands, the veil breaks, leaving a ring called an annulus on the stalk and often scalelike pieces on the cap. These veil remnants are important for identifying species of mushrooms.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with veiling


see draw a veil over.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.