surplice

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English[edit]

A man in a surplice (white)

Etymology[edit]

From Old French surpeliz, from Medieval Latin superpelliceum, from Latin super ‎(over) and pellis ‎(fur).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

surplice ‎(plural surplices)

  1. A liturgical vestment of the Christian Church. It has the form of a tunic of white linen or cotton material, with wide or moderately wide sleeves, reaching to the hips or knees. It usually features lace decoration and may have embroidered bordures.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 5, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      Then everybody once more knelt, and soon the blessing was pronounced. The choir and the clergy trooped out slowly, […], down the nave to the western door. […] At a seemingly immense distance the surpliced group stopped to say the last prayer.

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