• synonyms


noun Chiefly British.
  1. armor.
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Usage note

See -our.


  1. Philip Dan·forth [dan-fawrth, -fohrth] /ˈdæn fɔrθ, -foʊrθ/, 1832–1901, U.S. meat-packing industrialist.
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  1. any covering worn as a defense against weapons.
  2. a suit of armor.
  3. a metallic sheathing or protective covering, especially metal plates, used on warships, armored vehicles, airplanes, and fortifications.
  4. mechanized units of military forces, as armored divisions.
  5. Also called armament. any protective covering, as on certain animals, insects, or plants.
  6. any quality, characteristic, situation, or thing that serves as protection: A chilling courtesy was his only armor.
  7. the outer, protective wrapping of metal, usually fine, braided steel wires, on a cable.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cover or equip with armor or armor plate.
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Also especially British, ar·mour.

Origin of armor

1250–1300; Middle English armo(u)r, armure < Anglo-French armour(e), armure Old French armëure < Latin armātūra armature; assimilated, in Middle English and Anglo-French, to nouns ending in -our -or2
Related formsar·mor·less, adjectivean·ti·ar·mor, adjectivesub·ar·mor, noun
Can be confusedamour armoire armor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for armour

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The scene follows in which she plays squire to Antony and helps to buckle on his armour.

  • All through the middle ages suits of armour are called 'weeds.'



  • Knights and nobles lie clad in armour with their ladies by their sides.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • Poor, ill-advised, ungrateful Armour came home on Friday last.

  • Gwaednerth made his enemies, as it were, pay him this tribute with the gold of their armour.

    Y Gododin


British Dictionary definitions for armour


US armor

  1. any defensive covering, esp that of metal, chain mail, etc, worn by medieval warriors to prevent injury to the body in battle
  2. the protective metal plates on a tank, warship, etc
  3. military armoured fighting vehicles in general; military units equipped with these
  4. any protective covering, such as the shell of certain animals
  5. nautical the watertight suit of a diver
  6. engineering permanent protection for an underwater structure
  7. heraldic insignia; arms
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  1. (tr) to equip or cover with armour
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Word Origin

C13: from Old French armure, from Latin armātūra armour, equipment


  1. the US spelling of armour
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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 armour

chiefly British English spelling of armor (q.v.); for suffix, see -or.

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c.1300, "mail, defensive covering worn in combat," also "means of protection," from Old French armeure "weapons, armor" (12c.), from Latin armatura "arms, equipment," from arma "arms, gear" (see arm (n.2)). Figurative use from mid-14c.

Meaning "military equipment generally," especially siege engines, is late 14c. The word might have died with jousting if not for late 19c. transference to metal-shielded machinery beginning with U.S. Civil War ironclads (first attested in this sense in an 1855 report from the U.S. Congressional Committee on Naval Affairs).

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mid-15c., from armor (n.). Related: Armored; armoring.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with armour


see chink in one's armor; knight in shining armor.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.