a surcoat or tabard embroidered with heraldic devices, worn by medieval knights over their armor.
a heraldic achievement of arms.
Origin of coat of arms
1325–75; Middle English; parallel to French cotte d'armes
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for coat of arms
Historical Examples of coat of arms
On the front was engraved a monogram J. M., and on the back a coat-of-arms.
He held up a little note with a coat-of-arms upon the envelope.
He was prouder of his Collection than of his coat-of-arms—nobody could say more than that.
There was a coat-of-arms, too, with which she was not acquainted.
On the coat-of-arms it is notable that the three lions of England are crowned.
British Dictionary definitions for 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
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Word Origin and History for 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