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cuirass

[kwi-ras]
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noun
  1. Also called corselet. defensive armor for the torso comprising a breastplate and backplate, originally made of leather.
  2. either of the plates forming such armor.
  3. any similar covering, as the protective armor of a ship.
  4. Zoology. a hard shell or other covering forming an indurated defensive shield.
verb (used with object)
  1. to equip or cover with a cuirass.

Origin of cuirass

1425–75; < French cuirasse < Late Latin coriācea, noun use of feminine of coriāceus (adj.) leather, equivalent to Latin cori(um) leather + -āceus -aceous; replacing late Middle English curas < Middle French curasse, variant of cuirasse
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cuirass

Historical Examples

  • So the hero set out, protected only with cuirass and the lion skin.

    Myths and Legends of All Nations

    Various

  • Around all hearts as noble as his, there is a second envelope that forms a cuirass.

    The Man in the Iron Mask

    Alexandre Dumas, Pere

  • Panzer, a cuirass, is etymologically a pauncher, or defence for the paunch.

  • Those who stood about him besought him in vain to put on his cuirass.

  • He was clad in helmet and cuirass, and armed with sword and poniard.

    Sea-Dogs All!

    Tom Bevan


British Dictionary definitions for cuirass

cuirass

noun
  1. a piece of armour, of leather or metal covering the chest and back
  2. a hard outer protective covering of some animals, consisting of shell, plate, or scales
  3. any similar protective covering, as on a ship
verb
  1. (tr) to equip with a cuirass

Word Origin

C15: from French cuirasse, from Late Latin coriacea, from coriaceus made of leather, from Latin corium leather
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

Word Origin and History for cuirass

n.

"armor for the chest and back," mid-15c., from Middle French cuirasse (15c.), from Late Latin coriacea vestis "garment of leather," from Latin corium "leather, hide" (see corium). Cognate with Italian corazza, Spanish coraza, Portuguese couraça.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper