There are 2 main definitions of mantle in English:

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mantle 1

Line breaks: man¦tle
Pronunciation: /ˈmant(ə)l/


1A loose sleeveless cloak or shawl, worn especially by women: she was wrapped tightly in her mantle
More example sentences
  • She clapped her little white hands for her attending eunuch, and let the flabby monster wrap her in her mantle.
  • Her eyes were everywhere: on my gown, my mantle, our horses, and most of all, I thought, resting on the face of Gyric, with its linen wrap over the eyes.
  • Tamora drew her cloak about her, appreciating the warm mantle with its fur lining, whilst the air chapped her lips and pinched her nose and cheeks.
cloak, cape, shawl, wrap, stole
rare pelisse, pelerine
South American  poncho, serape
archaic mantlet
1.1A covering of a specified sort: the houses were covered with a thick mantle of snow
More example sentences
  • It had snowed for the last few days, and the woods were buried in a perfect untouched mantle of thick fresh snow.
  • Thirty miles away, the lofty peaks appeared sugar coated under their mantle of winter snow.
  • There is enough filtered moonlight to reveal the tip of a glacier hanging like a tongue out of the mantle of clouds.
covering, layer, blanket, sheet, veil, curtain, canopy, cover, cloak, pall, shroud, screen, mask, cloud, overlay, envelope
1.2 Ornithology A bird’s back, scapulars, and wing coverts, especially when of a distinctive colour: many gulls are all white except for dark grey mantle and wings
More example sentences
  • Juveniles appear similar to adults in non-breeding plumage, but the gray mantle is mottled.
  • Yellow wings, closed at his back in a mantle that stretched from shoulder to ankle, opened.
  • During a night watch, while the male godwits were incubating, it was noted that the females stood sleeping on the poles with their bills tucked backwards in their mantles.
1.3 Zoology (In molluscs, cirripedes, and brachiopods) a fold of skin enclosing the viscera and secreting the shell.
Example sentences
  • They are characterized by a single, pseudobivalved shell which enclosed the mantle and muscular foot.
  • A bivalve is characterized by possessing two shells secreted by a mantle that extends in a sheet on either side of the body.
  • Squids on earth still have a vestige of a shell inside their mantles.
2An important role or responsibility that passes from one person to another: the second son has now assumed his father’s mantle
[With allusion to the passing of Elijah's cloak (mantle) to Elisha (2 Kings 2:13)]
More example sentences
  • That's the way it had been for over four hundred years, the mantle passing from father to son, the reason lost somewhere in time.
  • Now that Bob Hope is no longer available to make surprise walk-ons, I think the mantle should be passed on to Stan.
  • That way, goes one theory, the PM can pass his mantle on to the stronger man.
role, burden, onus, duty, responsibility, function, position, capacity, task, job
3 (also gas mantle) A mesh cover fixed round a gas jet to give an incandescent light when heated.
Example sentences
  • Even so, it took another 20 years or so before electric lights had largely replaced gas mantles in American homes.
  • The incandescent gas mantle, developed by the German von Welsbach in 1885, greatly increased illuminating power and for a time helped fight off competition from electric lighting.
  • The rare earths once had a valuable function in gas mantles and lighter flints.
4 Geology The region of the earth’s interior between the crust and the core, believed to consist of hot, dense silicate rocks (mainly peridotite): magmas erupted at mid-ocean ridges are derived from the upper mantle [as modifier]: mantle rock [mass noun]: the presence of hot mantle leads to melting at the base of the lithosphere
More example sentences
  • Earthquake waves travel slowly through the hotter regions of the mantle and speed up in colder, denser areas.
  • Because it is less dense than the surrounding mantle, the magma rises toward the surface.
  • Hot new ocean crust forms at midocean ridges, cools, and sinks back into the mantle, shedding heat and driving the plates.
4.1The part of another planetary body corresponding to the earth’s mantle: the lunar mantle


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1 [with object] literary Cloak or envelop: heavy mists mantled the forested slopes
More example sentences
  • The other airily swings his torches of love, their flames mantling a cloud on which Jupiter's eagle fierily reposes.
  • However, sediment drifts mantle the western margins, and slope fans locally encroach onto the rise of the eastern margin.
  • Sunset had mantled the horizon with primrose, so that the evening sky blended with the garden, but there was still enough light to show him he wasn't the only one to flee the massed family.
cover, envelop, veil, cloak, curtain, shroud, swathe, wrap, blanket, screen, cloud, conceal, hide, disguise, mask, obscure, surround, overlay, clothe
literary enshroud
1.1 [no object] archaic (Of the face) glow with a blush: her rich face mantling with emotion
1.2 [no object] archaic (Of a liquid) become covered with a head or froth: the poison mantled in the bowl
2 [no object] (Of a bird of prey on the ground or on a perch) spread the wings and tail so as to cover captured prey: the female Goshawk is feeding while mantling with spread wings over her prey
More example sentences
  • He lowered his arm slowly, cautiously, extending it well away from him, and the bird mantled as it shifted its weight to balance on his wrist.
  • She arched her back, mantling her wings threateningly as she stalked to stand in front of her rescuer.
  • Low growls of warning were echoing from the throats of the wolves while the raptors mantled their wings and hissed in agitation.


Old English mentel, from Latin mantellum 'cloak'; reinforced in Middle English by Old French mantel.

Words that rhyme with mantle

cantle, covenantal, mantel, Prandtl
Definition of mantle in:
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There are 2 main definitions of mantle in English:

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mantle 2 Line breaks: man¦tle


Variant spelling of mantel.
Definition of mantle in:
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