A Dictionary of the English Language
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Vail (verb active 2)

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 2123, 2123

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 2123, 2123

To Vail. v.a. [avaller le bonet, French.]

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Carew, Thomas (36) · Fairfax, Edward (30) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 (72) · Knolles, Richard (44)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Vail (verb active 2)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 12, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/vail-verb-active-2/.

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