Definition of cuirass in English:


Pronunciation /kwiˈras/ /kwɪˈræs/ /kyo͝oˈras/ /kjʊˈræs/


  • 1historical A piece of armor consisting of breastplate and backplate fastened together.

    • ‘He turned his back to Hunter, showing his armor was a breastplate instead of a cuirass like Hunter wore.’
    • ‘Body armour, in the form of the iron cuirass, continued to be worn throughout much of the 17th century before its eventual demise.’
    • ‘The French and Germans experimented with metal cuirasses for machine gunners in World War I; the Americans did not adopt chest armor until World War II, when some bomber crews were provided with ‘flak jackets.’’
    • ‘In the first, Herakles tries out his weapons, still wearing the cuirass that bespeaks military engagement, and in the second, he strips down and turns to physical force alone.’
    • ‘An armed figure with Corinthian helmet, cuirass, and greaves, and holding a spear and round shield, runs with a very wide stride behind each chariot.’
    1. 1.1A hard protective cover on an animal.
  • 2Medicine
    An artificial ventilator which encloses the body, leaving the limbs free, and forces air in and out of the lungs by changes in pressure.

    • ‘A cuirass ventilator, rocking bed, and pneumobelt are less commonly used.’
    • ‘Negative-pressure ventilation using a chest cuirass can also be used for daytime ventilation, although current models are not portable.’
    • ‘On other occasions, large differences were observed, and attributed to air leaks due to thorax/abdomen disproportion and poor fit of the cuirass.’


Late Middle English from Old French cuirace, based on late Latin coriaceus (adjective), from corium ‘leather’ (of which a cuirass was originally made).



/kwiˈras/ /kwɪˈræs/ /kyo͝oˈras/ /kjʊˈræs/