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[gam-buh-suh n] /ˈgæm bə sən/
noun, Armor.
a quilted garment worn under mail.
Origin of gambeson
1300-50; Middle English ga(u)mbeson a military tunic < Old French gambison, gambeison, probably < Germanic Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gambeson
Historical Examples
  • The "Aketon" appears to be but another name for the gambeson.

  • The gambeson appearing below the chausses, but covering the chaussons of mail, forming an extra protection to the knee.

    Armour in England J. Starkie Gardner
  • The gambeson is shown on Fig. 9, appearing beneath the edge of the hauberk just above the knee.

    Armour & Weapons

    Charles John Ffoulkes
  • Quilted garments were still worn, either as the sole defence or as a gambeson under the mail.

    Armour & Weapons

    Charles John Ffoulkes
  • The gambeson (or Wambasium,) was a quilted garment, used either alone, or with other armour.

  • As the sole armour of the soldier, the gambeson is mentioned both by Wace and Guillaume le Breton.

  • The ordinary series of body-garments worn by the knight are the Tunic, the gambeson and the Hauberk.

  • The Hauberk, which was worn over the gambeson, was the chief body defence.

    Armour & Weapons

    Charles John Ffoulkes
  • We find the names of the gambeson, hacqueton, and pourpoint, and sometimes the jacke.

  • The shirts of mail are edged with wide borders, which may or may not represent the under tunic or gambeson showing beneath.

    Spanish Arms and Armour Albert F. Calvert
British Dictionary definitions for gambeson


a quilted and padded or stuffed leather or cloth garment worn under chain mail in the Middle Ages and later as a doublet by men and women
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German wamba belly; see womb
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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