[wim-puh l]
See more synonyms for wimple on Thesaurus.com
  1. a woman's headcloth drawn in folds about the chin, formerly worn out of doors, and still in use by some nuns.
  2. Chiefly Scot.
    1. a fold or wrinkle, as in cloth.
    2. a curve, bend, or turn, as in a road or river.
verb (used with object), wim·pled, wim·pling.
  1. to cover or muffle with or as if with a wimple.
  2. to cause to ripple or undulate, as water.
  3. Archaic. to veil or enwrap.
verb (used without object), wim·pled, wim·pling.
  1. to ripple, as water.
  2. Archaic. to lie in folds, as a veil.
  3. Chiefly Scot. to follow a curving course, as a road or river.

Origin of wimple

before 1100; (noun) Middle English wimple, wimpel, Old English wimpel; cognate with Dutch, Low German wimpel, Old Norse vimpill; (v.) Middle English: to wrap in a wimple, derivative of the noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for wimple

Historical Examples of wimple

  • "Give me your cloak and wimple," she bade Diana, and Diana flew to do her bidding.

    Mistress Wilding

    Rafael Sabatini

  • She pulled her wimple closer to her face, took him by the arm, and drew him with her into the house.

    Mistress Wilding

    Rafael Sabatini

  • The wimple covered the neck, and was worn chiefly out of doors.

    Earl Hubert's Daughter

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • She stopped short, drew her wimple round her face, and was gone.

  • She was tall and slender, but her features could not be seen for a wimple over her head.

    Sir Nigel

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for wimple


  1. a piece of cloth draped around the head to frame the face, worn by women in the Middle Ages and still a part of the habit of some nuns
  2. Scot a curve or bend, as in a river
  1. rare to ripple or cause to ripple or undulate
  2. (tr) archaic to cover with or put a wimple on
  3. archaic (esp of a veil) to lie or cause to lie in folds or pleats

Word Origin for wimple

Old English wimpel; related to Old Saxon wimpal, Middle Dutch wumpel, Middle High German bewimpfen to veil
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 wimple

"head covering for women," especially worn by nuns, Old English wimpel, from Proto-Germanic *wimpilaz (cf. Old Saxon wimpal, Old Frisian wimpel, Middle Dutch, Dutch wimpel, Old High German wimpal, German wimpel, Old Norse vimpill), of obscure origin. Old French guimple (French guimpe) is a Germanic loan-word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper