Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
click for a larger image
cutaway of the earth


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 of mantel.
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, from Old English mentel and from Old French mantel, both from Latin mantellum.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Heraldry) heraldry the drapery or scrollwork around a shield
[C16: from mantle]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in classic literature ?
(so gray tradition tells) were once the resort of the Power of Evil and his plighted subjects; and here, at midnight or on the dim verge of evening, they were said to stand round the mantling pool, disturbing its putrid waters in the performance of an impious baptismal rite.
The fruit mantling phenomenon has also made the scaling-up process of oil palm clones to be difficult as about 5% of the clonal populations derived from tissue culture exhibits somaclonal variation phenomenon [3].
Therefore, due to the reversible nature of histone deacetylation process, this implies that the mantling phenomenon can be reversed over time, as shown by several oil palm trees [18].