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

  • n. A piece of armor protecting the throat.
  • n. An ornamental collar.
  • n. The scarflike part of a wimple covering the neck and shoulders.
  • n. A band or patch of distinctive color on the throat of an animal, especially an area of brightly colored feathers on the throat of a bird.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A piece of armour for the throat.
  • n. A type of women's clothing covering the neck and breast; a wimple.
  • n. An ornament for the neck; a necklace, ornamental collar, torque etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A piece of armor, whether of chain mail or of plate, defending the throat and upper part of the breast, and forming a part of the double breastplate of the 14th century.
  • n. A piece of plate armor covering the same parts and worn over the buff coat in the 17th century, and without other steel armor.
  • n. A small ornamental plate, usually crescent-shaped, and of gilded copper, formerly hung around the neck of officers in full uniform in some modern armies.
  • n. A ruff worn by women.
  • n.
  • n. A cutting instrument used in lithotomy.
  • n. A grooved instrunent used in performing various operations; -- called also blunt gorget.
  • n. A crescent-shaped, colored patch on the neck of a bird or mammal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A piece of armor protecting the throat and sometimes the upper part of the breast.
  • n. A variety of wimple in use in the fourteenth century. It was worn very tight and close.
  • n. An ornamental neck-band having a considerable breadth, especially in front.
  • n. In ornithology, a throat-patch in any way distinguished by the color or texture of the feathers. Also gorgelet.
  • n. In surgery, a grooved instrument used in operations for anal fistula and in lithotomy. It serves as a guide, and in some instances is furnished with a blade for cutting. Also gorgeret.
  • n. In archaeology, an object of stone or shell, flat, or convex on one side and concave on the other, and sometimes provided with perforations.

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

  • n. armor plate that protects the neck


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

Middle English, from Old French gorgete, diminutive of gorge, throat; see gorge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French gorgete, from gorge ("throat").



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  • I came across this word here. Forgive me.

    February 19, 2009

  • It's also used to describe the bright colored spots under the "chins" of some hummingbirds, by the way. :-)

    March 20, 2008

  • Ohhh... that makes sense! No, no, don't take it off your list! It's actually headwear if it's part of a wimple. I just had never heard of that before.

    March 19, 2008

  • It's also part of a wimple--the part covering the neck and shoulders. But you're right; it's not a hat per se. Think I'll take it off my list....

    March 19, 2008

  • Headwear? Really? I've only ever seen this word used in reference to a piece of armor, an officer's symbol of rank, etc. Like this, which is descended from this.

    Anyway, in that sense, there's a usage note on Pyrrhic dance.

    March 18, 2008

  • Excuse me, my dear. I am nettled. They have fearfully rumpled my gorget.

    Anna Howe to Clarissa Harlowe, Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

    December 21, 2007