from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Electricity The rotating part of a dynamo, consisting essentially of copper wire wound around an iron core.
  • n. Electricity The moving part of an electromagnetic device such as a relay, buzzer, or loudspeaker.
  • n. Electricity A piece of soft iron connecting the poles of a magnet.
  • n. Biology A protective covering, structure, or organ of an animal or a plant, such as teeth, claws, thorns, or the shell of a turtle.
  • n. A framework serving as a supporting core for the material that is used to make a sculpture.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The rotating part of an electric motor or dynamo, which mostly consists of coils of wire around a metal core.
  • n. The moving part in an electromechanical device like a loudspeaker or a buzzer.
  • n. A piece of soft steel or iron that connects the poles of a magnet
  • n. A supporting framework in a sculpture.
  • n. A protective organ, structure, or covering of an animal or plant, for defense or offense, like claws, teeth, thorns, or the shell of a turtle.
  • n. Armor or a suit of armor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Armor; whatever is worn or used for the protection and defense of the body, esp. the protective outfit of some animals and plants.
  • n. A piece of soft iron used to connect the two poles of a magnet, or electro-magnet, in order to complete the circuit, or to receive and apply the magnetic force. In the ordinary horseshoe magnet, it serves to prevent the dissipation of the magnetic force.
  • n. Iron bars or framing employed for the consolidation of a building, as in sustaining slender columns, holding up canopies, etc.
  • n. That moving part of a dynamo or electric generator in which a current is induced by a moving through a magnetic field, or, in an electric motor, the part through which the applied current moves, thereby generating torque. The armature usually consists of a series of coils or groups of insulated conductors surrounding a core of iron.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Military equipment; especially, defensive armor.
  • n. In zoology and anatomy: Any part or organ of an animal serving as a means of defense or offense.
  • n. Any apparatus or set of organs without reference to defense; an equipment; an appanage: as, the genital or the anal armature.
  • n. In botany, the hairs, prickles, etc., covering an organ.
  • n. A body of armed troops.
  • n. In architecture, any system of bracing in timber or metal, as the iron rods used to sustain slender columns, to hold up canopies, etc.
  • n. A piece of soft iron applied simply by contact to the two poles of a magnet or electromagnet as a means of maintaining the magnetic power undiminished.
  • n. That part of an electric machine in which electric power is generated (generator) or consumed (motor). Sometimes the rotating element is called armature, irrespective of its function. See field, 13.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. coil in which voltage is induced by motion through a magnetic field


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, armor, from Old French, from Latin armātūra, equipment, from armātus, past participle of armāre, to arm; see arm2.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French armature, from Latin armātūra ("armour").



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  • Also the frame used to construct a sculpture; often used thus metaphorically.

    November 6, 2008

  • Misused, I think, in the translation of Calvino's Invisible Cities (several times): the English word doesn't have the sense "house frame" of Italian armatura.

    July 3, 2008