Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A piece of armor for protecting the breast and back, often consisting of two pieces fastened together.
  • noun The front piece of this armor.
  • noun Zoology A protective covering of bony plates or scales.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A piece of defensive armor covering the body from the neck to the girdle, and combining a breastplate and a backpiece.
  • noun Any similar covering, as the protective armor of a ship; specifically, in zoology, some hard shell or other covering forming an indurated defensive shield, as the carapace of a beetle or an armadillo, the bony plates of a mailed fish, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A piece of defensive armor, covering the body from the neck to the girdle.
  • noun The breastplate taken by itself.
  • noun (Zoöl) An armor of bony plates, somewhat resembling a cuirass.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A piece of defensive armor, covering the body from the neck to the girdle.
  • noun The breastplate taken by itself.

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

  • noun medieval body armor that covers the chest and back

Etymologies

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

[Middle English curas, from Old French curasse, probably alteration (influenced by Old French cuir, leather) of Old Provençal coirassa, from Late Latin coriācea (vestis), leather (garment), feminine of coriāceus, from Latin corium, hide; see sker- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French cuirace, see Modern french cuirasse.

Examples

Comments

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  • This word cracks me up because it sounds vaguely obscene, and yet it's so stodgy and historical.

    May 9, 2007

  • A piece of armor for protecting the breast and back. / The breastplate alone.

    A defense or protection.

    Zoology: A protective covering of bony plates or scales.

    (Middle English curas, from Old French curasse, probably alteration (influenced by Old French cuir, leather) of Old Provençal coirassa, from Late Latin coricea (vestis), leather (garment), feminine of coriceus, from Latin corium, hide; see sker-1 in Indo-European roots.)

    June 2, 2007