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[wim-puh l] /ˈwɪm pəl/
a woman's headcloth drawn in folds about the chin, formerly worn out of doors, and still in use by some nuns.
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), wimpled, wimpling.
to cover or muffle with or as if with a wimple.
to cause to ripple or undulate, as water.
Archaic. to veil or enwrap.
verb (used without object), wimpled, wimpling.
to ripple, as water.
Archaic. to lie in folds, as a veil.
Chiefly Scot. to follow a curving course, as a road or river.
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wimple
  • The building had curved, roughly plastered concrete walls and a swelling roof that resembled a nun's wimple.
British Dictionary definitions for wimple


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
(Scot) a curve or bend, as in a river
(rare) to ripple or cause to ripple or undulate
(transitive) (archaic) to cover with or put a wimple on
(archaic) (esp of a veil) to lie or cause to lie in folds or pleats
Word Origin
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
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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
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wimple in the Bible

Isa. 3:22, (R.V., "shawls"), a wrap or veil. The same Hebrew word is rendered "vail" (R.V., "mantle") in Ruth 3:15.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Article for wimple

headdress worn by women over the head and around the neck, cheeks, and chin. From the late 12th until the beginning of the 14th century, it was worn extensively throughout medieval Europe, and it survived until recently as a head covering for women in religious orders.

Learn more about wimple with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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