Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
April 18th, 2015
Episode 170 of 681 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 18, 2015 is: wimple \WIM-pul\ verb 1 : to cover with or as if with a wimple : veil 2 : to ripple 3 : (chiefly Scottish) to follow a winding course : meander Examples: A thick fog wimpled the shoreline so that the only thing that could be seen from the distance was the light winking from the top of the lighthouse. "In retrospect, [The Sound of Music] may have been the first movie to introduce the concept of 'saboteur nun,' and made people think differently about the wimpled sorority." James Lileks, National Review Online, December 9, 2013 Did you know? Wimple is the name of the covering worn over the head and around the neck and chin by women in the late medieval period, as well as by some modern nuns. Its name is akin to Old Saxon wimpal and Middle Dutch wimpel, both of which mean "veil" or "banner." Like the word veil, wimple is also used as a verb meaning "cover" and was adopted by literary writers as a substitute for ripple and meander, especially when writing about streams. "Over the little brook which wimpled along below towered an arch," James Russell Lowell once observed.