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any covering worn as a defense against weapons.
a suit of armor.
a metallic sheathing or protective covering, especially metal plates, used on warships, vehicles, airplanes, and fortifications.
mechanized units of military forces, as divisions.
Also called armament. any protective covering, as on certain animals, insects, or plants.
any quality, characteristic, situation, or thing that serves as protection:
A chilling courtesy was his only armor.
the outer, protective wrapping of metal, usually fine, braided steel wires, on a cable.
to cover or equip with armor or .
Historical Examples

Otherwise the armours had lived in that unpleasant condition of being constantly “discovered.”
The Translation of a Savage, Complete Gilbert Parker

But these be easily known, both by the diversity of minds, and also their armours.
Sermons on the Card and Other Discourses Hugh Latimer

It was the beginning of the season, but the armours had decided that they would not go to town.
The Translation of a Savage, Complete Gilbert Parker

Do you think he or the armours of Greyhope are the only ones at stake in this?
The Translation of a Savage, Complete Gilbert Parker

And the armours were very human also, for old Armour received him into his house, and Jean received him into her arms.
Library of the World’s Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 7 Various

Come and let us see Richard Joseph, the pride of all the armours.
The Translation of a Savage, Complete Gilbert Parker

I’m not going to have the Lestranges knock under to the armours!
There and Back George MacDonald

The armours had not been human if they had failed to enjoy their daughter-in-law’s success.
The Translation of a Savage, Complete Gilbert Parker

I works for armours 20 years but dey let me off six years ago, ’cause I’s too old.
Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves. Work Projects Administration

His arms were extensive—thirty “armours” of various types, thirty small arms and twenty swords.
The First Seventeen Years: Virginia 1607-1624 Charles E. Hatch

the US spelling of armour
any defensive covering, esp that of metal, chain mail, etc, worn by medieval warriors to prevent injury to the body in battle
the protective metal plates on a tank, warship, etc
(military) armoured fighting vehicles in general; military units equipped with these
any protective covering, such as the shell of certain animals
(nautical) the watertight suit of a diver
(engineering) permanent protection for an underwater structure
heraldic insignia; arms
(transitive) to equip or cover with armour

c.1300, “mail, defensive covering worn in combat,” also “means of protection,” from Old French armeure “weapons, armor” (12c.), from Latin armatura “arms, equipment,” from arma “arms, gear” (see arm (n.2)). Figurative use from mid-14c.

Meaning “military equipment generally,” especially siege engines, is late 14c. The word might have died with jousting if not for late 19c. transference to metal-shielded machinery beginning with U.S. Civil War ironclads (first attested in this sense in an 1855 report from the U.S. Congressional Committee on Naval Affairs).

mid-15c., from armor (n.). Related: Armored; armoring.

chiefly British English spelling of armor (q.v.); for suffix, see -or.

is employed in the English Bible to denote military equipment, both offensive and defensive. (1.) The offensive weapons were different at different periods of history. The “rod of iron” (Ps. 2:9) is supposed to mean a mace or crowbar, an instrument of great power when used by a strong arm. The “maul” (Prov. 25:18; cognate Hebrew word rendered “battle-axe” in Jer. 51:20, and “slaughter weapon” in Ezek. 9:2) was a war-hammer or martel. The “sword” is the usual translation of _hereb_, which properly means “poniard.” The real sword, as well as the dirk-sword (which was always double-edged), was also used (1 Sam. 17:39; 2 Sam. 20:8; 1 Kings 20:11). The spear was another offensive weapon (Josh. 8:18; 1 Sam. 17:7). The javelin was used by light troops (Num. 25:7, 8; 1 Sam. 13:22). Saul threw a javelin at David (1 Sam. 19:9, 10), and so virtually absolved him from his allegiance. The bow was, however, the chief weapon of offence. The arrows were carried in a quiver, the bow being always unbent till the moment of action (Gen. 27:3; 48:22; Ps. 18:34). The sling was a favourite weapon of the Benjamites (1 Sam. 17:40; 1 Chr. 12:2. Comp. 1 Sam. 25:29). (2.) Of the defensive armour a chief place is assigned to the shield or buckler. There were the great shield or target (the _tzinnah_), for the protection of the whole person (Gen. 15:1; Ps. 47:9; 1 Sam. 17:7; Prov. 30:5), and the buckler (Heb. _mageen_) or small shield (1 Kings 10:17; Ezek. 26:8). In Ps. 91:4 “buckler” is properly a roundel appropriated to archers or slingers. The helmet (Ezek. 27:10; 1 Sam. 17:38), a covering for the head; the coat of mail or corselet (1 Sam. 17:5), or habergeon (Neh. 4;16), harness or breat-plate (Rev. 9:9), for the covering of the back and breast and both upper arms (Isa. 59:17; Eph. 6:14). The cuirass and corselet, composed of leather or quilted cloth, were also for the covering of the body. Greaves, for the covering of the legs, were worn in the time of David (1 Sam. 17:6). Reference is made by Paul (Eph. 6:14-17) to the panoply of a Roman soldier. The shield here is the thureon, a door-like oblong shield above all, i.e., covering the whole person, not the small round shield. There is no armour for the back, but only for the front.


chink in one’s armor
knight in shining armor


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