A mantle is a word for something that blankets over something else, like the loose cloak worn by Little Red Riding Hood or the layer of earth between the crust and core.

Mantle is something that envelops and covers, like a tree covered in a mantle of snow. The Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra said, “Blessings on him who invented sleep, the mantle that covers all human thoughts.” Here, sleep is described as a mantle blanketing over the mind. Mantel is a variation of mantle, but it very specifically describes the shelf above a fireplace.

Definitions of mantle

n a sleeveless garment like a cloak but shorter

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a short mantle or cape fastened at the shoulder; worn by men in ancient Greece
mantelet, mantilla
short cape worn by women
a sleeveless cape that is lined or trimmed with fur
a woman's fur shoulder cape with hanging ends; often consisting of the whole fur of a fox or marten
Type of:
a loose outer garment

n shelf that projects from wall above fireplace

chimneypiece, mantel, mantelpiece, mantlepiece
Type of:
a support that consists of a horizontal surface for holding objects

n anything that covers

Type of:
cover, covering, natural covering
a natural object that covers or envelops

n the cloak as a symbol of authority

“place the mantle of authority on younger shoulders”
Type of:
an arbitrary sign (written or printed) that has acquired a conventional significance

n hanging cloth used as a blind (especially for a window)

curtain, drape, drapery, pall
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drop, drop cloth, drop curtain
a curtain that can be lowered and raised onto a stage from the flies; often used as background scenery
a curtain of fabric draped and bound at intervals to form graceful curves
a drapery that covers the front of an altar
a heavy curtain hung across a doorway
shower curtain
a curtain that keeps water from splashing out of the shower area
theater curtain, theatre curtain
a hanging cloth that conceals the stage from the view of the audience; rises or parts at the beginning and descends or closes between acts and at the end of a performance
safety curtain
a fireproof theater curtain to be dropped in case of fire
Type of:
blind, screen
a protective covering that keeps things out or hinders sight
(usually plural) the instrumentalities (furniture and appliances and other movable accessories including curtains and rugs) that make a home (or other area) livable

n the layer of the earth between the crust and the core

Type of:
a relatively thin sheetlike expanse or region lying over or under another

n (zoology) a protective layer of epidermis in mollusks or brachiopods that secretes a substance forming the shell

Type of:
cuticle, epidermis
the outer layer of the skin covering the exterior body surface of vertebrates

v spread over a surface, like a mantle

Type of:
diffuse, fan out, spread, spread out
move outward

v cover like a mantle

“The ivy mantles the building”
Type of:
cover, spread over
form a cover over

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