Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[bur-nee] /ˈbɜr ni/
noun, Armor.
a coat of mail; hauberk.
Origin of byrnie
1325-75; Middle English byrny, Scottish variant of brynie, brinie < Old Norse brynja, cognate with Old English byrne coat of mail, Old High German brunnia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for byrnie
Historical Examples
  • It entered his side through a cleft in his byrnie and pierced him deep.

    Eric Brighteyes H. Rider Haggard
  • The Anglo-Saxon poets let us know that chieftains and warriors wore a body defence, which they call a byrnie or a battle-sark.

  • It is true that only one trace of a byrnie, and that apparently not of ring-mail, has so far been found in an Anglo-Saxon grave.

    Beowulf R. W. Chambers
  • In early Saxon times, a protective garment called a byrnie was worn by the leaders.

  • His face was white, and white as snow was his beard, and blood from his great wound ran down his byrnie.

    Eric Brighteyes H. Rider Haggard
  • The blow falls on his shield, and shears off the side of it, then strikes the byrnie beneath, but lightly.

    Eric Brighteyes H. Rider Haggard
  • This was a great wound, for the axe shore through the steel of the byrnie and sank into the flesh.

    Eric Brighteyes H. Rider Haggard
  • Eric might not bear this sight, for his heart beat within him as though it would burst the byrnie over it.

    Eric Brighteyes H. Rider Haggard
  • The defensive armour consisted of helmet, shield, and byrnie.

  • But Blacktooth's byrnie was good, nor did the sword bite into it.

    Eric Brighteyes H. Rider Haggard
British Dictionary definitions for byrnie


an archaic word for coat of mail
Word Origin
Old English byrne; related to Old Norse brynja, Gothic brunjō, Old High German brunnia coat of mail, Old Irish bruinne breast
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for byrnie

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for byrnie

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for byrnie