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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. A short cloak formerly worn by knights. A short cloak or mantle worn by women. A mantelet upon his shoulders hanging. (Chaucer)

2. A musket-proof shield of rope, wood, or metal, which is sometimes used for the protection of sappers or riflemen while attacking a fortress, or of gunners at embrasures; now commonly written mantlet.

Origin: f, dim. Of manteau, OF. Mantel. See mantle.