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[ahr-mer] /ˈɑr mər/
any covering worn as a defense against weapons.
a suit of armor.
a metallic sheathing or protective covering, especially metal plates, used on warships, armored vehicles, airplanes, and fortifications.
mechanized units of military forces, as armored divisions.
Also called armament. any protective covering, as on certain animals, insects, or plants.
any quality, characteristic, situation, or thing that serves as protection:
A chilling courtesy was his only armor.
the outer, protective wrapping of metal, usually fine, braided steel wires, on a cable.
verb (used with object)
to cover or equip with armor or armor plate.
Also, especially British, armour.
Origin of armor
1250-1300; Middle English armo(u)r, armure < Anglo-French armour(e), armure Old French armëure < Latin armātūra armature; assimilated, in Middle English and Anglo-French, to nouns ending in -our -or2
Related forms
armorless, adjective
antiarmor, adjective
subarmor, noun
Can be confused
amour, armoire, armor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for armoured
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was no time to construct an armoured fleet; but they did not think they needed one.

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
  • She gave to the cheese-box, or to the armoured turret, one after the other, three broadsides.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • Cruisers are divided into two classes: armoured and unarmoured.

  • In 1861, ships of the type of the Minotaur were built, armoured from stem to stern.

  • The Glasgow was not armoured, and could not contend with armoured vessels.

  • The Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau were armoured cruisers of 11,600 tons.

  • They were armoured with 4-inch iron and armed with eighteen 50-pounder guns.

    Famous Sea Fights John Richard Hale
  • At first the armoured ships concentrated their fire on the "Alexander."

    Famous Sea Fights John Richard Hale
British Dictionary definitions for armoured


having a protective covering, such as armour or bone
comprising units making use of armoured vehicles: an armoured brigade
(of glass) toughened


the US spelling of armour
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for armoured



c.1300, "mail, defensive covering worn in combat," also "means of protection," from Old French armeure "weapons, armor" (12c.), from Latin armatura "arms, equipment," from arma "arms, gear" (see arm (n.2)). Figurative use from mid-14c.

Meaning "military equipment generally," especially siege engines, is late 14c. The word might have died with jousting if not for late 19c. transference to metal-shielded machinery beginning with U.S. Civil War ironclads (first attested in this sense in an 1855 report from the U.S. Congressional Committee on Naval Affairs).



mid-15c., from armor (n.). Related: Armored; armoring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with armoured
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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