1. A loose sleeveless coat worn over outer garments; a cloak.
2. Something that covers, envelops, or conceals:"On a summer night ... a mantle of dust hangs over the gravel roads"(John Dollard).
3. The role or appearance of an authoritative or important person:"a Carlylean conviction that in modern society a poet was obligated to assume the mantle of a prophet"(Richard D. Altick).
4. Variant ofmantel.
5. The outer covering of a wall.
6. A zone of hot gases around a flame.
7. A device in gas lamps consisting of a sheath of threads that gives off brilliant illumination when heated by the flame.
8. Anatomy The cerebral cortex.
9. Geology The zone of the earth between the crust and the core.
10. The outer wall and casing of a blast furnace above the hearth.
11. The shoulder feathers, upper back, and sometimes the wings of a bird when differently colored from the rest of the body.
a. A fold or pair of folds of the body wall that covers the internal organs and typically secretes the substance that forms the shell in mollusks and brachiopods.
b. The soft outer wall lining the shell of a tunicate or barnacle.
v.man·tled, man·tling, man·tles
1. To cover with a mantle.
2. To cover with something that acts like a mantle; cover, envelop, or conceal:"when the land was mantled in forest and prowled by lions, leopards, and wolves"(David Campbell).
1. To spread or become extended over a surface.
2. To become covered with a coating, as scum or froth on the surface of a liquid.
3. To blush:cheeks mantling with embarrassment.
[Middle English, fromOld Englishmenteland fromOld Frenchmantel, both fromLatinmantellum.]
(click for a larger image)mantle
cutaway of the earth
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.