Middle English Dictionary Entry

surplī̆s n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1.
A loose-fitting overgarment, usu. of white linen and with wide sleeves, a surplice: (a) eccl. a vestment worn by a priest or other ecclesiastic (a clerk, canon, etc.), usu. for liturgical use; also, any vestment for church use, including a chorister's robe; -- also coll.; ?with pun on surplus n. [quot. ?c1430]; (b) a Hebrew priestly vestment, an ephod; -- also coll.; also, a Levitical robe of linen, choir robe; (c) in other contexts, chiefly secular: any overgarment worn by a man or woman; also, an angel's robe [quot. c1450]; ~ wise, in the manner of a surplice, with wide sleeves.