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or pavise

[pav-is] /ˈpæv ɪs/
a large oblong shield of the late 14th through the early 16th centuries, often covering the entire body and used especially by archers and soldiers of the infantry.
Origin of pavis
1350-1400; Middle English paveys < Middle French pavais < Old Italian pavese literally, of Pavia; see -ese Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pavis
Historical Examples
  • The pavis or Pavoise (Fig. 37) was more generally used by archers and crossbowmen as a cover.

    Armour & Weapons

    Charles John Ffoulkes
  • The archer using these heavy weapons was entrenched behind a pavis or shield fixed in the ground as shown on Fig. 37.

    Armour & Weapons

    Charles John Ffoulkes
  • The pavis was a tall shield, curved so as partly to envelop the person of the bearer, broad at the top and tapering to the feet.

  • The most interesting example which we have met of the employment of the pavis and mantelet, is in a picture in the Harl.

  • But the archers of the besiegers sought to put themselves on more equal terms with their opponents by using the pavis or mantelet.

British Dictionary definitions for pavis


a large square shield, developed in the 15th century, at first portable but later heavy and set up in a permanent position
Word Origin
C14: from Old French pavais, from Italian pavese of Pavia, Italian city where these shields were originally made
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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