Definitions

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

  • n. A metal breastplate worn under a coat of mail.
  • n. A quilted pad worn by fencers to protect the torso and side.
  • n. A trimming on the front of a bodice.
  • n. The front of a man's dress shirt.
  • n. The front panel of the tunic of a uniform, usually of a different color than the rest.
  • n. Zoology The ventral part of the shell of a turtle or tortoise.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The nearly flat part of the shell structure of a tortoise or other animal, similar in composition to the carapace.
  • n. A half-jacket worn under the jacket for padding or for safety.
  • n. An ornamental front panel on a woman's bodice.
  • n. A film of air trapped by specialized hairs against the body of an aquatic insect, and which acts as an external gill.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A piece of leather stuffed or padded, worn by fencers to protect the breast.
  • n. An iron breastplate, worn under the hauberk.
  • n. The ventral shield or shell of tortoises and turtles. See Testudinata.
  • n. A trimming for the front of a woman's dress, made of a different material, and narrowing from the shoulders to the waist.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A breastplate; a garment or part of a garment covering the breast. , , ,
  • n. In herpetology: The ventral part of the shell of a chelonian or testudinate; the lower shell, or under side of the shell, of a turtle or tortoise: more or less opposed to carapace.
  • n. One of the similar exoskeletal plates developed upon the under side of the body of certain Amphibia, as the Labyrinthodonta.
  • n. In mammalogy, the ventral shield or cuirass of the glyptodons or fossil armadillos.
  • n. In anatomy, the sternum with the costal cartilages attached, as removed in autopsies.
  • n. In ornithology, a colored area on the breast or belly of a bird, like or likened to a shield.
  • n. In the Echinodermata, a space surrounded by the subanal fasciole lying beneath the anus, in spatangoid echinoids.

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

  • n. a metal breastplate that was worn under a coat of mail
  • n. a large pad worn by a fencer to protect the chest
  • n. the ornamental front of a woman's bodice or shirt
  • n. the front of man's dress shirt
  • n. (zoology) the part of a turtle's shell forming its underside

Etymologies

French, from Old French, from Old Italian piastrone, augmentative of piastra, thin metal plate; see piaster.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French plastron, from Italian piastrone, augmentive of piastra ("breastplate"), from Latin emplastrum ("plaster"), from Ancient Greek εμπλαστρον (emplastron), from εμπλαστος (emplastos, "daubed, plastered"), from εμπλασσειν (emplassein, "to mould, form"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The belly was covered by a shell, the so-called plastron, in pretty much the same way as that of a modern sea turtle.

    THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

  • Just wondering if the plastron is the modern reincarnation of the colonial stomacher?

    How Many Ways? - A Dress A Day

  • The underneath of any tortoise's carapace is called the plastron and it's unique, like a fingerprint.

    Home | Mail Online

  • This leaves out of account the eight live musicians, whose sound is amplified so as to move directionally around the circular auditorium; Carl Fillion's Buckminster Fuller-inspired "skeletal substructure of a huge turtle," a latticed dome that supports all sorts of gymnastic maneuvres; the projections onto the plastron underside of the "turtle," which culminate in projections of swimmers, who then appear to emerge from it — in person, as it were.

    'Totem' Should Top the Polls

  • The clownfish plastron necklace, for instance, took 750 hours to produce and has a total of 2,160 individually set stones.

    Fashion History With A Twist: The World's Most Enduring Brands

  • As I scooped up the tortoise, it gave an indignant wheeze and swiftly retracted its limbs and head, bringing up the hinged piece of plastron that closes the brown-and-butterscotch patterned “box” of protective shell.

    Beginner’s Grace

  • The removable wheels were secured by a velcro strip epoxied to her plastron.

    Boing Boing

  • Searching a drawer in his plastron, he removed a small cube of something green and odious, plopped it in his mouth, and chewed reflectively as he slammed the drawer shut.

    The Lives of Felix Gunderson

  • Checking the drawers set in his plastron, he trundled off in the direction of his workshop.

    The Lives of Felix Gunderson

  • He cheeked to make certain his plastron compartments were still tightly closed.

    A Corridor in the Asylum

Comments

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  • “From the fossil record, you’d think that turtles burst upon the world with their shells intact. The oldest known species, a 210-million-year-old fossil from Germany, has a complete bottom shell, called a plastron, and a complete top shell, or carapace.�?

    The New York Times, Turtles on the Half Shell: New Fossils Show an Evolutionary Step, by Henry Fountain, December 1, 2008

    December 2, 2008

  • Also means the ventral part of a turtle shell.

    September 17, 2008

  • Plastron: french translation for a (neck)tie.
    Also used in flemisch language (dutch speaking part of Belgium)
    blog about plastron (ties): http://www.plastronneke.be (in dutch)
    Other words for a plastron (as in a tie):
    French: cravatte
    Dutch: stropdas, das
    German: Krawatte

    February 13, 2007

  • Nice word. "Dude, you were so plastron last night, I thought you were gonna hurl."

    February 6, 2007

  • In fencing, a half-jacket worn to protect the vulnerable underarm. Historically, a steel breastplate worn beneath a hauberk.

    February 6, 2007