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a surcoat or tabard embroidered with heraldic devices, worn by medieval knights over their armor.
a heraldic achievement of arms.
the heraldic bearings of a person, family, or corporation
a surcoat decorated with family or personal bearings

mid-14c., originally a tunic embroidered with heraldic arms (worn over armor, etc); see from coat (n.) + arm (n.2) and cf. Old French cote a armer. Sense transferred to the heraldic arms themselves by 1560s. Hence turncoat, one who put his coat on inside-out to hide the badge of his loyalty.


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  • Coat of many colors

    The special coat that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; the coat made his other sons jealous and resentful. (See Jacob and Esau and Joseph and his brothers.)

  • Coatrack

    [koht-rak] /ˈkoʊtˌræk/ noun 1. a or stand for the temporary hanging or storing of , hats, etc.

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