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

  • n. The hood or hooded robe worn especially by a monk.
  • n. A draped neckline on a woman's garment.
  • n. A hood-shaped covering used to increase the draft of a chimney.
  • n. The top portion of the front part of an automobile body, supporting the windshield and dashboard.
  • n. The cowling on an aircraft.
  • transitive v. To cover with or as if with a cowl.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A monk's hood or hooded robe
  • n. A mask that covers the majority of the head.
  • n. A metal protective covering that covers the engine; also cowling
  • n. A usually hood-shaped covering used to increase the draft of a chimney and prevent backflow.
  • n. A ship's ventilator with a bell-shaped top which can be swivelled to catch the wind and force it below
  • n. A vertical projection of a ship's funnel that directs the smoke away from the bridge
  • n. A soe

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A monk's hood; -- usually attached to the gown. The name was also applied to the hood and garment together.
  • n. A cowl-shaped cap, commonly turning with the wind, used to improve the draft of a chimney, ventilating shaft, etc.
  • n. A wire cap for the smokestack of a locomotive.
  • n. a removable metal covering for an aircraft engine, providing streamlining to minimize wind resistance; -- also called cowling.
  • n. a covering for a chimney or other ventilating shaft functioning to increase the draft.
  • n. A vessel carried on a pole between two persons, for conveyance of water.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A hood attached to a gown or robe, and admitting of being drawn over the head or of being worn hanging on the shoulders: worn chiefly by monks, and characteristic of their dress or profession.
  • n. A garment with a hood (vestis caputiata), black or gray or brown, varying in length in different ages and according to the usages of different orders, but having these two permanent characteristics, that it covered the head and shoulders, and that it was without sleeves.
  • n. Hence A monk.
  • n. A covering, originally cowl-shaped, for the top of a chimney or the upper end of a soil-pipe or ventilating shaft, made to turn with the wind, and intended to assist ventilation.
  • n. A wire cap or cage on the top of a locomotive-funnel.
  • n. An old name in some parts of England for a tub or large vessel for holding liquids; specifically, a large vessel for water, to be carried on a pole between two persons.
  • n. See kowl.

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

  • v. cover with or as with a cowl
  • n. a loose hood or hooded robe (as worn by a monk)
  • n. protective covering consisting of a metal part that covers the engine


Middle English coule, from Old English cugele, from Late Latin cuculla, from Latin cucullus, hood.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English coule, from Old English cule, from cugele, from Late Latin cuculla ("monk's cowl")," from Latin cucullus ("hood"). (Wiktionary)



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