from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Heraldry A panel bearing the coat of arms of a deceased person.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An escutcheon of a deceased person, placed within a black lozenge and hung on a wall
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A sort of panel, upon which the arms of a deceased person are temporarily displayed, -- usually on the walls of his dwelling. It is lozenge-shaped or square, but is hung cornerwise. It is used in England as a means of giving public notification of the death of the deceased, his or her rank, whether married, widower, widow, etc. Called also achievement.
- n. A sword or other mark of the profession of arms; in general, a mark of dignity.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In heraldry: An escutcheon or armorial shield granted in recognition of some distinguished achievement; an achievement (in sense 3).
- n. Especially — A funeral achievement; a square tablet set diagonally and bearing the arms of a deceased person, placed over a tomb or upon the exterior of the house in which the person dwelt.
- n. Hence Any distinguishing mark, badge of honor, symbol, or the like, as the sword of a soldier.
Alteration of hachement, achiment, from achievement, escutcheon.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)