from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A lightweight lace or silk scarf worn over the head and shoulders, often over a high comb, by women in Spain and Latin America.
  • n. A short cloak or cape.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Spanish lace veil worn over a woman's hair and shoulders.
  • n. A lady's light cloak or cape of silk, velvet, lace, or similar.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A lady's light cloak of cape of silk, velvet, lace, or the like.
  • n. A kind of veil, covering the head and falling down upon the shoulders; -- worn in Spain, Mexico, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A short mantle.
  • n. A light cloak or covering thrown over the dress of a lady.
  • n. A woman's head-covering, often of lace, which falls down upon the shoulders and may be used as a veil, worn in Spain and the Spanish colonies, in Genoa, and elsewhere.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. short cape worn by women
  • n. a woman's silk or lace scarf


Spanish, diminutive of manta, cape; see manta.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish diminutive of manta. (Wiktionary)


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  • The flowing lace adornment, reaching from the head to the shoulders, and from thence thrown in graceful folds over the back and one arm, is called the "mantilla," and is the characteristic costume of the ladies of Spain.

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  • At last, after a great many hesitations, Zouhra, who is the bravest of them all, ventured to go out with me, buried in the recesses of a brougham, and protected by a very thick kind of mantilla, which after all was hardly any less impenetrable than a _yashmak_.

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  • "mantilla," and "Andalousie" with "jealousy," while her agile fingers played on the old instrument an accompaniment supposed to imitate bells and castanets.

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  • Not to be confused with the mantissa. A critter that used to hang out in log tables, but is now bordering on the verge of extinction, having been rendered obsolescent by the hegemonistic march forward of the pocket calculator.

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  • Father Conmee doffed his silk hat, as he took leave, at the jet beads of her mantilla inkshining in the sun.
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