• WordNet 3.6
    • n cuirass medieval body armor that covers the chest and back
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Cuirass A piece of defensive armor, covering the body from the neck to the girdle
    • Cuirass (Zoöl) An armor of bony plates, somewhat resembling a cuirass.
    • Cuirass The breastplate taken by itself.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cuirass A piece of defensive armor covering the body from the neck to the girdle, and combining a breastplate and a backpiece. Such a protection was used among the ancients in various forms, but under different names (see breastplate, thorax), and is still worn by the heavy cavalry specifically called cuirassicrs in the French and other European armies. The cuirass seems to have been first adopted in England in the reign of Charles I., when the light cavalry were armed with buff coats, having the breast and back covered with steel plates. Subsequently this piece of armor fell into disuse, and was resumed by the English only after the battle of Waterloo, where the charges of the French cuirassiers were very effective.
    • n cuirass Any similar covering, as the protective armor of a ship; specifically, in zoology, some hard shell or other covering forming an indurated defensive shield, as the carapace of a beetle or an armadillo, the bony plates of a mailed fish, etc.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Cuirass kwi-ras′ or kū- a defensive covering for the breast and back, of leather or iron fastened with straps and buckles, &c
    • v.t Cuirass to furnish with such
    • n Cuirass kwi-ras′ or kū-, a defensive covering for the breast and back, of leather or iron fastened with straps and buckles, &c
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F.cuirasse, orig., a breastplate of leather, for OF. cuirée, cuirie, influenced by It. corazza, or Sp. coraza, fr. an assumed LL. coriacea, fr. L. coriaceus, adj., of leather, fr. corium, leather, hide; akin to Gr. cho`rion intestinal membrane, OSlav. skora, hide, Lith. skura, hide, leather. Cf. Coriaceous
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. cuirassecuir, leather—L. corium, skin leather.


In literature:

The hard leather cuirass he wore was cracked down the center.
"The Saracen: Land of the Infidel" by Robert Shea
One man on the right end of the line was dressed in a steel cuirass.
"The Saracen: The Holy War" by Robert Shea
Several of the cuirasses and helmets taken at Waterloo are kept here.
"Our Young Folks at Home and Abroad" by Various
A dint upon the cuirass and the sight of the sword by his side catch his eye and he shudders.
"Graham of Claverhouse" by Ian Maclaren
Altorius XXII clad in robes of scarlet, and a glittering cuirasse that glowed like the evening sun.
"Astounding Stories, February, 1931" by Various
I prefer her cuirassed in pride, armed with a taunt.
"Shirley" by Charlotte Brontë
The old warrior, with extraordinary vigor, climbed upon the logs and searched beneath the cuirass of the corpse.
"Sónnica" by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
Towards evening, the sound of martial music was again heard; helmets and cuirasses gleamed in the setting sun.
"Hungarian Sketches in Peace and War" by Mór Jókai
The girl had absently divested herself of her cuirass and was walking up and down the room with folded arms.
"The Lion of Janina" by Mór Jókai
The edges of the cuirass at the neck, arms, and belt, were bound with red silk.
"A Struggle for Rome, v. 3" by Felix Dahn
Besides these, they carried shields, and wore cotton cuirasses.
"The Memoirs of the Conquistador Bernal Diaz del Castillo, Vol 1 (of 2)" by Bernal Diaz del Castillo
And, on the foe's huge cuirass proudly trod.
"The Lusiad" by Luís de Camões
The sixth man wore the jewelled cuirass of a noble.
"Black Amazon of Mars" by Leigh Brackett
The iron head of the ponderous weapon struck the center of the Gaul's cuirass, which crunched inward like so much cardboard.
"Triplanetary" by Edward Elmer Smith
At the same instant Maurevel fired, but the ball rebounded from De Mouy's cuirass.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, No. 359, September 1845" by Various
We kept the prow of the ship to the storm, and every wave that washed over us made thicker our cuirass of ice.
"The Goddess of Atvatabar" by William R. Bradshaw
Cuirasses of bronze scales were worn by the kings and other leaders.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 9, Slice 1" by Various
This young man, though only playing, has sharply touched the defect in the cuirass.
"Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 15" by Various
He wore a brilliant steel cuirass, and a red turban wrapped around his gilded casque.
"The Abbatial Crosier" by Eugène Sue
Then the clang of iron mail and bronze cuirass resounded through the vaulted corridors.
"Valeria" by William Henry Withrow

In poetry:

The Roman felt beneath his thick cuirass —
Like captive soldier stilling infant's cry —
On his triumphant bosom swooning lie
Her form voluptious in his close embrace.
"Antony and Cleopatra" by Jose Maria de Heredia y Giraud
A dark cloak of the roebuck's skin
Covered the warrior, and within
Its heavy folds the weapons, made
For the hard toils of war, were laid;
The cuirass, woven of plaited reeds,
And the broad belt of shells and beads.
"Earlier Poems : Burial Of The Minnisink" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow