Definitions

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

  • n. A helmet, especially an ornate visorless headpiece of the 16th century.
  • n. Zoology A helmetlike structure or protuberance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A visorless helmet.
  • n. A hard structure on the head of some birds, such as the hornbill or cassowary.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A piece of defensive or ornamental armor (with or without a vizor) for the head and neck; a helmet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A helmet of any kind.
  • n. In zoology, some process or formation on the head resembling a helmet; a galea.

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

  • n. (15-16th century) any armor for the head; usually ornate without a visor

Etymologies

French, from Spanish casco; see cask.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French casque. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Rocks that are cruel and relentless as the surges that sweep over them in stormy weather, and which are so quaintly named from their helmet, or "casque" - like resemblance -- rocks, concerning which the poet Swinburne has sung in his eloquent verse, that breathes the very spirit of the sea in depicting the strife of the elements:

    Bob Strong's Holidays Adrift in the Channel

  • On top of the head is a "casque" - a helmet-like growth of tough skin.

    KUSA-TV -

  • The bony helmet on his head, called a casque, is distinctively bent and on one side appears rectangular.

    Birdology

  • It is an elegant example of what the French call a casque bourgignon, a Burgundian helmet of distinctive design that was the choice of kings and noblemen—a handsome, high-crowned helmet with a comb and helm forged from a single piece of metal.5 Above the helmet is a large plume of white feathers called a panache—the origin of our modern word.

    Champlain's Dream

  • It is an elegant example of what the French call a casque bourgignon, a Burgundian helmet of distinctive design that was the choice of kings and noblemen -- a handsome, high-crowned helmet with a comb and helm forged from a single piece of metal.

    'Champlain's Dream: The European Founding of North America'

  • He is equipped with huge spear and broad brass-bound leather shield; his casque is a tiger's head with bull's horns; he wears a scarlet cloak with gold brooch over a lion's skin with the claws dangling; his feet are in sandals with brass ornaments; his shins are in brass greaves; and his bristling military moustache glistens with oil.

    Back to Methuselah

  • Some wore a corselet of pieces of hard wood laced together with bear grass, so as to form a light coat of mail, pliant to the body; and a kind of casque of cedar bark, leather, and bear grass, sufficient to protect the head from an arrow or war club.

    Astoria, or Anecdotes of an Enterprise Beyond the Rocky Mountains

  • a kind of casque of cedar bark, leather, and bear grass, sufficient to protect the head from an arrow or war club.

    Astoria, or, anecdotes of an enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains

  • Jackie Nickerson Vivion Afifi holds up his casque colonial.

    Congo's Unlikely Fashionistas

  • Father Daniel defines a Salet to be a sort of light casque, without a crest, sometimes having a visor, and being sometimes without one.

    Medallion Vulcan | SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles

Comments

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  • Whether from love of form, or from curiosity, the marshals paid no attention to his expressions of reluctance, but unhelmed him by cutting the laces of his casque, and undoing the fastening of his gorget. When the helmet was removed, the well-formed, yet sun-burnt features of a young man of twenty-five were seen, amidst a profusion of short fair hair.

    --Ivanhoe, Chapter XII, by Sir Walter Scott

    January 10, 2011