• synonyms


  1. Also called corselet. defensive armor for the torso comprising a breastplate and backplate, originally made of leather.
  2. either of the plates forming such armor.
  3. any similar covering, as the protective armor of a ship.
  4. Zoology. a hard shell or other covering forming an indurated defensive shield.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to equip or cover with a cuirass.
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Origin of cuirass

1425–75; < French cuirasse < Late Latin coriācea, noun use of feminine of coriāceus (adj.) leather, equivalent to Latin cori(um) leather + -āceus -aceous; replacing late Middle English curas < Middle French curasse, variant of cuirasse
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cuirass

Historical Examples of cuirass

  • So the hero set out, protected only with cuirass and the lion skin.

    Myths and Legends of All Nations


  • Around all hearts as noble as his, there is a second envelope that forms a cuirass.

    The Man in the Iron Mask

    Alexandre Dumas, Pere

  • Panzer, a cuirass, is etymologically a pauncher, or defence for the paunch.

  • Those who stood about him besought him in vain to put on his cuirass.

  • He was clad in helmet and cuirass, and armed with sword and poniard.

    Sea-Dogs All!

    Tom Bevan

British Dictionary definitions for cuirass


  1. a piece of armour, of leather or metal covering the chest and back
  2. a hard outer protective covering of some animals, consisting of shell, plate, or scales
  3. any similar protective covering, as on a ship
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  1. (tr) to equip with a cuirass
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Word Origin for cuirass

C15: from French cuirasse, from Late Latin coriacea, from coriaceus made of leather, from Latin corium leather
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 cuirass


"armor for the chest and back," mid-15c., from Middle French cuirasse (15c.), from Late Latin coriacea vestis "garment of leather," from Latin corium "leather, hide" (see corium). Cognate with Italian corazza, Spanish coraza, Portuguese couraça.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper