To Vail. v.a. [avaller le bonet, French.]
- To let fall; to suffer to descend.
They stiffly refused to vail their bonnets, which is reckoned intollerable contempt by seafarers. Carew.
The virgin 'gan her beavoir vale,
And thank'd him first, and thus began her tale. Fairfax.
- To let fall in token of respect.
Certain of the Turks gallies, which would not vail their top-sails, the Venetians fiercely assailed. Knolles's Hist.
They had not the ceremony of veiling the bonnet in salutations; for, in medals, they still have it on their heads. Add.
- To fall; to let sink in fear, or for any other interest.
That furious Scot,
'Gan vail his stomach, and did grace the shame
Of those that turn'd their backs. Shakespeare.