coat of arms


a surcoat or tabard embroidered with heraldic devices, worn by medieval knights over their armor.
a heraldic achievement of arms.

Nearby words

  1. coat armour,
  2. coat card,
  3. coat dress,
  4. coat flower,
  5. coat hanger,
  6. coat of mail,
  7. coat of many colors,
  8. coat protein,
  9. coat tree,
  10. coat-of-mail shell

Origin of coat of arms

1325–75; Middle English; parallel to French cotte d'armes Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for coat of arms

British Dictionary definitions for coat of arms

coat of arms


the heraldic bearings of a person, family, or corporation
a surcoat decorated with family or personal bearings
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 coat of arms

coat of arms


mid-14c., originally a tunic embroidered with heraldic arms (worn over armor, etc); see from coat (n.) + arm (n.2) and cf. Old French cote a armer. Sense transferred to the heraldic arms themselves by 1560s. Hence turncoat, one who put his coat on inside-out to hide the badge of his loyalty.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper