In ancient times, philosophers and teachers commonly wore a pallium, or cloak, draped over their shoulders. Today, a pallium is mainly known as a religious vestment worn by the Pope.

In the Catholic church, a pallium is worn only by the Pope and a few archbishops. This long, narrow band is white, and it has to be knitted at least in part from lambswool from sheep raised by Trappist monks. This garment, which is adorned with six black crosses, has a lot of religious significance to devout Catholics. The word itself simply means "cloak" in Latin.

Definitions of pallium
  1. noun
    cloak or mantle worn by men in ancient Rome
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    type of:
    a loose outer garment
  2. noun
    (Roman Catholic Church) vestment consisting of a band encircling the shoulders with two lappets hanging in front and back
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    type of:
    gown (especially ceremonial garments) worn by the clergy
  3. noun
    the layer of unmyelinated neurons (the grey matter) forming the cortex of the cerebrum
    synonyms: cerebral cortex, cerebral mantle, cortex
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    neocortex, neopallium
    the cortical part of the neencephalon
    archipallium, paleocortex
    the olfactory cortex of the cerebrum
    type of:
    neural structure
    a structure that is part of the nervous system
  4. noun
    (zoology) a protective layer of epidermis in mollusks or brachiopods that secretes a substance forming the shell
    synonyms: mantle
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    type of:
    cuticle, epidermis
    the outer layer of the skin covering the exterior body surface of vertebrates
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