Definitions

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

  • n. A blouse worn under a jumper.
  • n. A yoke insert for a low-necked dress.
  • n. A starched cloth covering the neck and shoulders as part of a nun's habit.
  • n. See gimp1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Gimp; a narrow flat braid or reinforced cord of fabric used for ornamental trimming.
  • n. A kind of short, high-necked blouse with sleeves of the late Victorian era, designed to be worn under a low-cut dress, jumper, or pinafore dress.
  • n. A kind of short chemisette or yoke insert made of lace, embroidery, or the like, worn with a low-necked dress.
  • n. A wimple; a wide, stiffly starched cloth that covers the neck and shoulders, as part of the habit of nuns of certain orders.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of short blouse or chemisette, worn under a low-necked dress such as a jumper or pinafore.
  • n. a piece of starched cloth covering the shoulders of a nun's habit.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A chemisette worn with a low or square-necked dress.

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

  • n. a piece of starched cloth covering the shoulders of a nun's habit
  • n. a short blouse with sleeves that is worn under a jumper or pinafore dress

Etymologies

French, from Old French guimple, from Old High German wimpal; see weip- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French guimpe, from Middle French guimpe, from Old French guimple ("wimple"), from Old Frankish *wimpil, *wimpila (“head scarf”), from Proto-Germanic *wimpilaz, from Proto-Germanic *wīpanan ("to wind, sling, garland, swing"; from Proto-Indo-European *wimb-, *weib- (“to turn, rotate”)) + Proto-Germanic *-ilaz (instrumental suffix). Cognate with Old High German wimpal and winfila ("head scarf"), Middle Dutch wumpel ("cap"), Old English wimpel, winpel ("wimple"), Old Norse vimpill ("hood, veil"). Also influenced by Old French guimpre ("a kind of trimming"), from the same Germanic source. More at wimple. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • They were dressed in flowing black with starched white guimpe and wimples.

    CANTICLES • by K.C. Ball

  • Bernardines – Benedictines of the Petit – Picpus wore the black guimpe, and the Benedictines of the Holy Sacrament and of the Rue

    Les Miserables

  • People supped well, and had at table a beautiful neighbor without a guimpe so that her throat was only moderately concealed.

    Les Miserables

  • Her guimpe was never sufficiently opaque, and never ascended sufficiently high.

    Les Miserables

  • A robe of serge with large sleeves, a large woollen veil, the guimpe which mounts to the chin cut square on the breast, the band which descends over their brow to their eyes, — this is their dress.

    Les Miserables

  • One caught a glimpse of a black guimpe, and a form that was barely defined, covered with a black shroud.

    Les Miserables

  • All the nuns at the convent wore plain blouses and skirts except for Sister Edgar, who had permission from the motherhouse to fit herself out in the old things with the arcane names, the wimple, cincture and guimpe.

    Underworld

  • It landed right on top of the basket of wash, and lay wet and dirty on top of a ruffled guimpe of Dot's.

    Four Little Blossoms and Their Winter Fun

  • She could not help but think, she who had seen it and worn it, both ways, that Miss Eliza would be forced to select, as the prettier, the dress without the guimpe.

    The Heart of Arethusa

  • So the guimpe was brought, a lace guimpe with long, lace sleeves, and a high collared neck of lace.

    The Heart of Arethusa

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