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From Latin velum ‎(veil, sail).


  • IPA(key): /ˈviːləm/, /ˈvɛləm/


velum ‎(plural vela or velums)

  1. A thin membrane, resembling a veil, such as:
    1. (anatomy) The soft palate.
    2. (botany) A thin membrane partially covering the cluster of sporangia near the leaf base in quillworts and their extinct relatives.
    3. (mycology) A veil-like membrane of immature mushrooms extending from the margin of the cap to the stem and is torn by growth, to reveal the gills.
    4. (malacology) A locomotory and feeding organ provided with cilia found in the larval stage of bivalves.
    5. (zoology) A circular membrane round the cap of medusa.
    6. A delicate membrane found on certain protists.
  2. (meteorology) An accessory cloud resembling a veil extending over a large distance. Normally associated with cumulus and cumulonimbus.

Related terms[edit]


vēla rubra (red sails)


From Proto-Indo-European *weg- ‎(to weave a web) or *weǵʰ- ‎(to ride), thus "that which propels" (compare its diminutive noun vexillum, as in pālus, paxillus).

Alternative forms[edit]



vēlum n ‎(genitive vēlī); second declension

  1. the sail of a ship
  2. a cloth, curtain, veil, awning


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative vēlum vēla
genitive vēlī vēlōrum
dative vēlō vēlīs
accusative vēlum vēla
ablative vēlō vēlīs
vocative vēlum vēla

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



  • velum in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • velum in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • VELUM in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • velum” in Félix Gaffiot (1934), Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Paris: Hachette.
  • Meissner, Carl; Auden, Henry William (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • (ambiguous) to put to sea: vela in altum dare (Liv. 25. 27)
    • (ambiguous) to set the sails: vela facere, pandere
    • (ambiguous) to set the sails: vela dare
    • (ambiguous) to furl the sails: vela contrahere (also metaph.)
    • (ambiguous) sails and rigging: vela armamentaque
  • velum in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers