• synonyms


noun Armor.
  1. a coat of mail; hauberk.
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Origin of byrnie

1325–75; Middle English byrny, Scottish variant of brynie, brinie < Old Norse brynja, cognate with Old English byrne coat of mail, Old High German brunnia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for byrnies

Historical Examples

  • Steingrim before his banner went, And helms were broke and byrnies rent.

    Poems by the Way

    William Morris

  • Charles the Great forbade the export of byrnies from his dominions.


    R. W. Chambers

  • Atli his men assembled, in their byrnies they issued forth, went prepared so that a fence was between them.

  • We see the men with their “byrnies” of ring mail, their crested helmets, their leather-covered shields and deadly short swords.

    The Old English Herbals

    Eleanour Sinclair Rohde

British Dictionary definitions for byrnies


  1. an archaic word for coat of mail
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Word Origin

Old English byrne; related to Old Norse brynja, Gothic brunjō, Old High German brunnia coat of mail, Old Irish bruinne breast
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