• synonyms


or pav·ise

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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 &amp; 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 &amp; Weapons

    Charles John Ffoulkes

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

  • 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.

  • 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



  1. 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C14: from Old French pavais, from Italian pavese of Pavia, Italian city where these shields were originally made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