take the veil

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take the veil (third-person singular simple present takes the veil, present participle taking the veil, simple past took the veil, past participle taken the veil)

  1. (idiomatic) To retire into a convent and live as a nun.
    • 1847, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, ch. 22:
      "I shall devote myself for a time to the examination of the Roman Catholic dogmas, and to a careful study of the workings of their system: if I find it to be, as I half suspect it is, the one best calculated to ensure the doing of all things decently and in order, I shall embrace the tenets of Rome and probably take the veil."