• WordNet 3.6
    • n breastplate armor plate that protects the chest; the front part of a cuirass
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Breastplate (Jewish Antiq) A part of the vestment of the high priest, worn upon the front of the ephod. It was a double piece of richly embroidered stuff, a span square, set with twelve precious stones, on which were engraved the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. See Ephod.
    • Breastplate A piece against which the workman presses his breast in operating a breast drill, or other similar tool.
    • Breastplate A plate of metal covering the breast as defensive armor. "Before his old rusty breastplate could be scoured, and his cracked headpiece mended."
    • Breastplate A strap that runs across a horse's breast.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n breastplate A square ornament worn by the Jewish high priest, consisting of the same textile fabric as the ephod, and bearing twelve precious stones engraved with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, set in the gold. The breastplate was hung by chains of gold to that part of the ephod which was on the shoulder, and the lower side was secured to the girdle by blue laces; for this purpose four rings of gold were secured to the four corners. It was also called the breastplate of judgment, because it contained the Urim and the Thummim.
    • n breastplate The armor for the front of the body, when made in one piece reaching from the waist to about the collar-bone. It was not introduced until a very late period in the his tory of armor, and was not common until the early years of the sixteenth century, when armor for the limbs was being abandoned. See back and breast (under back), corselet, and cuirass.
    • n breastplate A strap that runs across a horse's breast.
    • n breastplate A plate or piece which receives the buttend of a boring-tool, and is held against the breast when the tool is in use. Also called conscience and palette.
    • n breastplate The sternum or central piece on the lower side of the cephalothorax of a spider, between the bases of the legs.
    • n breastplate The lower shell or plastron of a tortoise.
    • n breastplate The iron plate used for covering the breast-hole of a cupola.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Breastplate a plate or piece of armour for the breast:
    • Breastplate (B.) an embroidered square of linen worn on the breast of the Jewish high-priest, bearing twelve precious stones, each inscribed with the name of one of the tribes of Israel
    • ***


  • William Shakespeare
    “What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted. [Henry Iv]”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. bréost; Ger. brust, Dut. borst.


In literature:

The duchess Sarah also poses in the collection as Minerva, wearing a yellow classic breastplate.
"England, Picturesque and Descriptive" by Joel Cook
Where the breastplate ends at the throat he struck, and the blade of volcanic glass cut through the flesh.
"The Flute of the Gods" by Marah Ellis Ryan
Others were in helmets, gorglet and breastplate, to represent Pizarro's conquerors of Peru.
"Where Strongest Tide Winds Blew" by Robert McReynolds
Their defensive weapons are wooden shields and rattan or corded breastplates, and other armor helmets of the same material.
"The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume 40 of 55" by Francisco Colin
Beads of glass were common in Egypt from the earliest times, strung together by threads so as to form breastplates rather than necklaces.
"Needlework As Art" by Marian Alford
The breastplate seemed too big, and he was somehow unable to tighten the greaves on his shins properly.
"The Dueling Machine" by Benjamin William Bova
The spear pointing straight toward Mallory's breastplate had something of the aspect of a jet-propelled flagpole.
"A Knyght Ther Was" by Robert F. Young
On their breasts they carry a breastplate formed of coins, small bells and copper disks.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 1" by Various
He, too, was fully armed, and wore a breastplate of steel beneath his riding cloak.
"Marguerite De Roberval" by T. G. Marquis
I wore a light breastplate of steel under my dress.
"The Serapion Brethren." by Ernst Theordor Wilhelm Hoffmann

In poetry:

A helmet on his head doth stand,
A breastplate on his heart:
A shield also is in his hand,
That blunteth every dart.
"Of Death" by John Bunyan
``I cannot don the breastplate and the helm,
To my weak waist the sword I cannot gird,
Nor in the discords that distract a Realm
Be seen or heard.
"Victoria" by Alfred Austin
Far better she, when, with her soothing lyre,
She charms the falchion from the savage grasp,
And melting into pity vengeful ire,
Looses the bloody breastplate's iron clasp.
"Music" by Henry Kirke White
Weak words he has, that slip the nerveless tongue
Deformed, like his great frame: a broken arc:
Once radiant as the javelin flung
Right at the centre breastplate of his mark.
"Bellerophon" by George Meredith
When breastplated March his trumpets blew,
We laughed in his face, till he laughed too;
Then, drying our lids when the sleet was done,
Smiled back to the smile of the April sun.
"The Passing Of The Primroses" by Alfred Austin
She came to his quarter, and on still I brought her,
And up to his girth, to his breastplate she drew;
A short prayer from Neville just reach'd me, "The devil!"
He mutter'd — lock'd level the hurdles we flew.
"How We Beat The Favourite" by Adam Lindsay Gordon

In news:

The massive 60-pound chrome-plated, solid-brass bow breastplate alone costs $1360 to cast and plate.
Hedgecock makes knightly armour, museum-quality work — imagine 15th-century breastplates, gauntlets, greaves, spaundlers, faulds, and more.
A warrior wearing silver hair disks and a breastplate captures three mules under fire.
It's easy to find a Roman breastplate or a medieval helmet in Phoenix if you don't mind the plastic costume version.