a woman's headcloth drawn in folds about the chin, formerly worn out of doors, and still in use by some nuns.
Chiefly Scot.
a fold or wrinkle, as in cloth.
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

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
wimple (ˈwɪmpəl)
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
3.  rare to ripple or cause to ripple or undulate
4.  archaic (tr) to cover with or put a wimple on
5.  archaic (esp of a veil) to lie or cause to lie in folds or pleats
[Old English wimpel; related to Old Saxon wimpal, Middle Dutch wumpel, Middle High German bewimpfen to veil]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"head covering for women," especially worn by nuns, O.E. wimpel, from P.Gmc. *wimpilaz (cf. O.S. wimpal, O.Fris. wimpel, M.Du., Du. wimpel, O.H.G. wimpal, Ger. wimpel, O.N. vimpill), of obscure origin. O.Fr. guimple (Fr. guimpe) is a Gmc. loan-word.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Wimple definition

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 Britannica


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 Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The building had curved, roughly plastered concrete walls and a swelling roof that resembled a nun's wimple.
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