Definition of cuirass in English:

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Pronunciation: /kwɪˈras/


Image of cuirass
1 historical A piece of armour consisting of breastplate and backplate fastened together.
Example sentences
  • 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.’
2 Medicine An artificial ventilator which encloses the body, leaving the limbs free, and forces air in and out of the lungs by changes in pressure.
Example sentences
  • 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from Old French cuirace, based on late Latin coriaceus (adjective), from corium 'leather' (of which a cuirass was originally made).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cuir|ass

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