Cui*rass" ; pl. Cuirasses(-z). [ F.cuirasse, orig., a breasplate of leather, for OF. cuire, cuirie influenced by It. corazza, or Sp. cora, fr. an assumed LL. coriacea, fr. L. coriacevs, adj., of leather, fr. corium leather, hide; akin to Gr. intestinal membrane, OSlav. skora hide, Lith. skura hide, leather. Cf. Coriaceous.]

1. (a)

A piece of defensive armor, covering the body from the neck to the girdle

. (b)

The breastplate taken by itself.

The cuirass covered the body before and behind. It consisted of two parts, a breast- and backpiece of iron fastened together by means of straps and buckles or other like contrivances. It was originally, as the name imports, made of leather, but afterward of metal. Crose.

2. Zool

An armor of bony plates, somewhat resembling a cuirass.


© Webster 1913.