[ kwi-ras ]
/ kwɪˈræs /


Also called corselet. defensive armor for the torso comprising a breastplate and backplate, originally made of leather.
either of the plates forming such armor.
any similar covering, as the protective armor of a ship.
Zoology. a hard shell or other covering forming an indurated defensive shield.

verb (used with object)

to equip or cover with a cuirass.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cuirass

British Dictionary definitions for cuirass


/ (kwɪˈræs) /


a piece of armour, of leather or metal covering the chest and back
a hard outer protective covering of some animals, consisting of shell, plate, or scales
any similar protective covering, as on a ship


(tr) to equip with a cuirass

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper