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Cape vs. Cloak: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 4, 2023
Cape is a sleeveless garment hanging from the neck, while a cloak is a loose, sleeveless garment often enclosing the body.

Key Differences

Cape and cloak both have their unique presence in the realms of apparel, but they serve distinctly different purposes. A cape is a sleeveless piece of cloth that primarily hangs from the neck. In contrast, a cloak also, generally sleeveless, is a more encompassing garment, often designed to cover the wearer substantially, providing more coverage and often having the ability to close or be secured in the front.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023
Spotting a superhero, one often sees them adorned in a cape, an accessory that cascades down their back, symbolizing prowess and style. A cloak, enveloping and mysterious, often is attributed to wizards, conjuring an air of mystique and secrecy, offering a comprehensive cover that shrouds the wearer in its ample fabric.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023
When discussing formal wear, a cape often becomes an elegant accessory, lightly draped over the shoulders, adding a dash of sophistication without obscuring the outfit beneath. The cloak, conversely, makes a bolder statement, typically serving to envelop the wearer, becoming the outfit’s focal point and providing a sense of mystery or protection against the elements.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023
In fantasy realms, a cape is often the attire of the valiant, fluttering gallantly in the wind as they embark on adventures. In a similar vein, a cloak can imbue a sense of magic and concealment, offering the wearer a way to navigate their fantastical world under a guise of secrecy, sometimes armed with enchantments of invisibility or protection.
Janet White
Oct 04, 2023
The aesthetic of a cape often lends itself to a feeling of elevation, luxury, and is frequently seen on regal figures. The cloak, with its all-encompassing nature, tends to be attributed to journeys, adventures, and environments where protection or concealment from elements or prying eyes is paramount.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Sleeve

Sleeveless
Typically sleeveless
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Length

Can be short or long
Usually long
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Oct 04, 2023

Closure

Open, no closure
Can be open or closed
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Usage

More decorative
Practical/useful
Harlon Moss
Oct 04, 2023

Association

Superheroes, elegance
Wizards, mystery
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023
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Cape and Cloak Definitions

Cape

A pointed piece extending between a gap.
The cape of the anvil was finely pointed.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 04, 2023

Cloak

Something that conceals or hides.
His kindness served as a cloak for his deceit.
Sara Rehman
Oct 04, 2023

Cape

A sleeveless garment that may only cover the back.
The superhero’s cape billowed in the wind.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 04, 2023

Cloak

A protective covering or screen.
The forest acted as a cloak, hiding the castle.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Cape

A sleeveless outer garment fastened at the throat and worn hanging over the shoulders.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

A loose outer garment that is sleeveless or with sleeves.
The wizard wore a cloak adorned with stars.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 04, 2023

Cape

A brightly colored cloth used in maneuvering the bull in a bullfight; a capote or muleta.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

A long, loose outer garment, usually having a hood and no sleeves.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cape

A point or head of land projecting into a body of water.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

Something that covers or conceals
A cloak of secrecy.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cape

To maneuver (the bull) by means of a cape in a bullfight.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

To cover or conceal with a cloak or something that acts like a cloak
Mist that cloaks the mountains.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cape

(geography) A piece or point of land, extending beyond the adjacent coast into a sea or lake; a promontory; a headland.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

A long outer garment worn over the shoulders covering the back; a cape, often with a hood.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cape

A sleeveless garment or part of a garment, hanging from the neck over the back, arms, and shoulders.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

A blanket-like covering, often metaphorical.
Night hid her movements with its cloak of darkness.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cape

(slang) A superhero.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

(figurative)  That which conceals; a disguise or pretext.
RQ:South Twelve Sermons
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cape

To incite or attract (a bull) to charge a certain direction, by waving a cape.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

(Internet) A text replacement for an IRC user's hostname or IP address, making the user less identifiable.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cape

(nautical) To head or point; to keep a course.
The ship capes southwest by south.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

(transitive) To cover as with a cloak.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cape

To skin an animal, particularly a deer.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

To cover up, hide or conceal.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cape

To defend or praise, especially that which is unworthy.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

To render or become invisible via futuristic technology.
The ship cloaked before entering the enemy sector of space.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cape

(obsolete) To look for, search after.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

A loose outer garment, extending from the neck downwards, and commonly without sleeves. It is longer than a cape, and is worn both by men and by women.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cape

To gaze or stare.
The captain just caped mindlessly into the distance as his ship was hit by volley after volley.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

That which conceals; a disguise or pretext; an excuse; a fair pretense; a mask; a cover.
No man is esteemed any ways considerable for policy who wears religion otherwise than as a cloak.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cape

A piece or point of land, extending beyond the adjacent coast into the sea or a lake; a promontory; a headland.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

To cover with, or as with, a cloak; hence, to hide or conceal.
Now glooming sadly, so to cloak her matter.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cape

A sleeveless garment or part of a garment, hanging from the neck over the back, arms, and shoulders, but not reaching below the hips. See Cloak.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

Anything that covers or conceals
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cape

To head or point; to keep a course; as, the ship capes southwest by south.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

A loose outer garment
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cape

To gape.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

Hide under a false appearance;
He masked his disappointment
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cape

A strip of land projecting into a body of water
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

A symbol of secrecy or mystery.
She walked under the cloak of night.
Harlon Moss
Oct 04, 2023

Cape

A sleeveless garment like a cloak but shorter
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 04, 2022

Cloak

An all-encompassing shelter or shield.
The cloak of the night sky enveloped the desert.
Janet White
Oct 04, 2023

Cape

A sleeveless garment hanging from the neck.
She wore a red cape to the masquerade.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Cape

A geographical feature extending into a body of water.
Cape Cod is a popular vacation destination.
Harlon Moss
Oct 04, 2023

Cape

A garment used symbolically (in literature, etc.).
His cape represented hope to the downtrodden city.
Janet White
Oct 04, 2023

FAQs

Are "capes" primarily associated with any particular cultural or historical imagery?

Yes, capes are often associated with superheroes, royalty, and sometimes fashion.
Harlon Moss
Oct 04, 2023

How would you define a "cloak"?

A cloak is a loose, sleeveless outer garment, often with a hood, that can be closed for more body coverage.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Is a "cloak" typically longer than a "cape"?

Often, yes. Cloaks are generally designed to cover more of the body and are usually longer.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

How does a "cape" typically fasten, if at all?

Capes may fasten at the neck but are often left open.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Can a "cape" be a geographical term?

Yes, in geography, a "cape" refers to a pointed piece of land that extends into a body of water.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Are "cloaks" related to any particular kind of imagery?

Cloaks are often related to mystery, wizards, medieval times, and sometimes concealment or protection.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Do "capes" and "cloaks" have different origins?

Yes, "cape" comes from the Latin "cappa," while "cloak" originates from the Old North French “cloque.”
Janet White
Oct 04, 2023

What is the basic definition of a "cape"?

A cape is a sleeveless garment that hangs from the neck and can vary in length.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Is a "cloak" always a piece of clothing?

Predominantly yes, but "cloak" can metaphorically describe something covering or concealing, e.g., "a cloak of secrecy."
Janet White
Oct 04, 2023

Is the "cloak" metaphorically used in language?

Yes, "cloak" is used metaphorically to describe something that covers, conceals, or obscures, like "a cloak of mystery."
Sara Rehman
Oct 04, 2023

Can both "cape" and "cloak" be used as verbs?

"Cloak" can be used as a verb, meaning to cover or conceal. "Cape" is not commonly used as a verb in the same way.
Sara Rehman
Oct 04, 2023

Are "cloaks" considered outdated in modern apparel?

Cloaks are less common in modern fashion but might be used for stylized or themed attire.
Janet White
Oct 04, 2023

Can a "cape" have a hood?

Typically, capes do not have hoods, though there are variations that might.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Can "cape" and "cloak" be used interchangeably?

They can be in some contexts due to their similarities, but they have distinctive characteristics that differentiate them.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 04, 2023

Can a "cape" refer to anything other than clothing or geography?

Less commonly, but yes, e.g., in blacksmithing, a "cape" chisel has a narrow, tapered edge.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 04, 2023

Are "capes" commonly worn in contemporary fashion?

Capes appear cyclically in fashion, sometimes being utilized in haute couture and winter wear.
Janet White
Oct 04, 2023

Does a "cloak" have fastenings or closures?

Yes, cloaks often have closures, which can be ties, buttons, or clasps, to envelop the wearer.
Harlon Moss
Oct 04, 2023

Which is more likely to be worn for warmth, a "cape" or a "cloak"?

A cloak, due to its more enveloping nature and ability to close, is more likely to be worn for warmth.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

How is "cape" used metaphorically?

"Cape" isn’t widely used metaphorically, but it can symbolize strength or heroism in certain contexts, owing to its association with superheroes.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Are "capes" and "cloaks" featured prominently in any literary or film genres?

Yes, capes and cloaks are often prominent in genres like fantasy, historical dramas, and superhero narratives.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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