• synonyms


  1. the pivoted middle element of a face defense of a close helmet.
  2. a flap of mail attached to a coif and fastened across the lower part of the face during combat.
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Also aventail.

Origin of ventail

1300–50; Middle English < Middle French ventaille, equivalent to vent (< Latin ventus wind1) + -aille -al2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ventail

Historical Examples of ventail

  • She puts on his hauberk with its strong meshes, and laces on his ventail.

    Four Arthurian Romances

    Chretien DeTroyes

  • It has a tilting helmet with visor in two pieces, and a shutter in the ventail; the leg-armour is still complete.

    Spanish Arms and Armour

    Albert F. Calvert

  • The upper part is the visor, to admit of vision, the lower the ventail, to admit of breathing.

  • I fail to see why; the weapon that pierced a ventail would pass into the head, and inflict a death-wound.

  • The other drags him by the helmet, tearing all the fastening, and he strikes from his head the ventail and the gleaming coif.

    Four Arthurian Romances

    Chretien DeTroyes

British Dictionary definitions for ventail


  1. (in medieval armour) a covering for the lower part of the face
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Word Origin for ventail

C14: from Old French ventaille sluice, from vent wind, from Latin ventus
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