Definition of maniple in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈmanɪp(ə)l/


1A subdivision of a Roman legion, containing either 120 or 60 men.
Example sentences
  • A Roman tribune gathered twenty maniples from the rear lines of the Roman right wing and led them in an attack on the flank of the Macedonian right.
  • But it was here that Scipio's preparation in lining up his troops in separate maniples bore fruit.
  • A battle-ravaged legion could have only two maniples, a hastily reorganised one could have ten.
2(In the Christian church) a vestment formerly worn by a priest celebrating the Eucharist, consisting of a strip hanging from the left arm.
Example sentences
  • They go from the chasuble, wide stole, and maniple of his early priesthood to a succession of increasingly simple garments until they arrive at an academic gown.
  • Worn since the 6th century by Priests and Deacons in Ravenna, the maniple was incorporated throughout Wesern Europe within 400 years.
  • The baptism is being conducted by an adult, a robed figure with a halo and a maniple, presumably John the Baptist.



sense 1.
Example sentences
  • By the late 4th and early 3rd centuries BC, the army began to assume the familiar form of the manipular legion.
  • Ilipa would have to be the best battle to see the flexibility of the manipular formation in action.
  • The three-line battle system, known generally as manipular warfare, required considerable training and effective leadership by officers to work.


Late Middle English (in sense 2): from Old French maniple, from Latin manipulus 'handful, troop', from manus 'hand' + the base of plere 'fill'.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.