Old English mentel "loose, sleeveless cloak," from Latin mantellum "cloak" (source of Italian mantello, Old High German mantal, German Mantel, Old Norse mötull), perhaps from a Celtic source. Reinforced and altered 12c. by cognate Old French mantel "cloak, mantle; bedspread, cover" (Modern French manteau), also from the Latin source. Figurative sense "that which enshrouds" is from c.1300. Allusive use for "symbol of literary authority or artistic pre-eminence" is from Elijah's mantle [2 Kings ii:13]. As a layer of the earth between the crust and core (though not originally distinguished from the core) it is attested from 1940.
"to wrap in a mantle," early 13c.; figurative use from mid-15c., from mantle (n.) or from Old French manteler. Related: Mantled; mantling.
mantle man·tle (mān'tl)
A covering layer of tissue.
(1.) Heb. 'addereth, a large over-garment. This word is used of Elijah's mantle (1 Kings 19:13, 19; 2 Kings 2:8, 13, etc.), which was probably a sheepskin. It appears to have been his only garment, a strip of skin or leather binding it to his loins. _'Addereth_ twice occurs with the epithet "hairy" (Gen. 25:25; Zech. 13:4, R.V.). It is the word denoting the "goodly Babylonish garment" which Achan coveted (Josh. 7:21). (2.) Heb. me'il, frequently applied to the "robe of the ephod" (Ex. 28:4, 31; Lev. 8:7), which was a splendid under tunic wholly of blue, reaching to below the knees. It was woven without seam, and was put on by being drawn over the head. It was worn not only by priests but by kings (1 Sam. 24:4), prophets (15:27), and rich men (Job 1:20; 2:12). This was the "little coat" which Samuel's mother brought to him from year to year to Shiloh (1 Sam. 2:19), a miniature of the official priestly robe. (3.) Semikah, "a rug," the garment which Jael threw as a covering over Sisera (Judg. 4:18). The Hebrew word occurs nowhere else in Scripture. (4.) Maataphoth, plural, only in Isa. 3:22, denoting a large exterior tunic worn by females. (See DRESS.)