Biology. the protective covering of an animal or plant, or any part serving for defense or offense.
  1. the part of an electric machine that includes the main current-carrying winding and in which the electromotive force is induced.
  2. the pivoted part of an electric device, as a buzzer or relay, that is activated by a magnetic field.
  3. the iron or steel applied across the poles of a permanent magnet to close it, or across the poles of an electromagnet to transmit a mechanical force.
Sculpture. a skeletal framework built as a support on which a clay, wax, or plaster figure is constructed.

Origin of armature

1535–45; (< Middle French) < Latin armātūra an outfit, armor, equivalent to armāt(us) equipped (see arm2, -ate1) + -ūra -ure
Can be confusedamateur armature Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for armature

Contemporary Examples of armature

  • But Tarzan is also the armature for a heady display which reaches way beyond the simple chronicling of a pop phenomenon.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Original Sexy Beast

    Anthony Haden-Guest

    July 2, 2009

Historical Examples of armature

  • Simple, Simplex: without process, armature, or appendage of any kind.

  • Let A represent the armature, with a pair of grooves (B) for the wires.

  • By means of the armature, vibrating in front of a magnet, we can see its manifestations.

  • He knows the injury to the armature was done in our shop and that we are responsible for it.


    Alice Hegan Rice

  • When he emerged, it was with the avowed belief that the armature had been defective when received.


    Alice Hegan Rice

British Dictionary definitions for armature



a revolving structure in an electric motor or generator, wound with the coils that carry the current
any part of an electric machine or device that moves under the influence of a magnetic field or within which an electromotive force is induced
Also called: keeper a soft iron or steel bar placed across the poles of a permanent magnet to close the magnetic circuit
such a bar placed across the poles of an electromagnet to transmit mechanical force
sculpture a framework to support the clay or other material used in modelling
the protective outer covering of an animal or plant
archaic armour

Word Origin for armature

C15: from Latin armātūra armour, equipment, from armāre to furnish with equipment; see arm ²
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 armature

c.1400, "an armed force," from Latin armatura "armor, equipment," from armatus, past participle of armare "to arm, furnish with weapons" from arma (see arm (n.2)). Meaning "armor" is mid-15c.; that of "protective covering of a plant or animal" is from 1660s. Electromagnetic sense is from 1835.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

armature in Science



The part of an electric motor or generator that consists of wire wound around an iron core and carries an electric current. In motors and generators using direct current, the armature rotates within a magnetic field; in motors and generators using alternating current a magnetic field is rotated about the armature.
A piece of soft iron connecting the poles of a magnet.
The part of an electromagnetic device, such as a relay or loudspeaker, that moves or vibrates.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.