From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


An Indian cuirass with helmet


Attested since the 1400s, from Middle English curasse, curesse, from Old French cuirace, spelling influenced by modern French cuirasse.


  • IPA(key): /kwɪˈɹæs/, /ˈkjʊəɹæs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æs


cuirass (plural cuirasses)

  1. A piece of defensive armor, covering the body from the neck to the girdle.
    • 1786, Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 19:
      The cuirass covered the body before and behind, it consisted of two parts, a breast and back piece of iron, fastened together by means of straps and buckles, or other contrivances. They were originally as the name imports, made of leather, but afterwards of metal, both brass and iron.
  2. The breastplate taken by itself.
    • 1837, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], Ethel Churchill: Or, The Two Brides. [], volume II, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, pages 43–44:
      Lady Orkney's history, to whose house we are going, is a curious one. As Miss Elizabeth Villiers, by her charms she pierced the cuirass that enveloped the well-disciplined heart of William III.

Related terms[edit]



cuirass (third-person singular simple present cuirasses, present participle cuirassing, simple past and past participle cuirassed)

  1. (transitive) To cover with defensive armor; to armor-plate.