Definition of escutcheon in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ɪˈskʌtʃ(ə)n/
Pronunciation: /ɛˈskʌtʃ(ə)n/


1A shield or emblem bearing a coat of arms.
Example sentences
  • As weaponry began to render body armor obsolete, coats of arms were scaled down and used on tunics and caps, still in the form of the escutcheon or shield.
  • The trappings of male finery included plumed helmets, heavy epaulettes, long swords, tassels, braid, knee-high boots, gleaming escutcheons, white gloves, white trousers.
  • Written in Gothic letters of gold leaf, the composer's name on the portrait above his left shoulder recalls the style of the escutcheons of the knights of the Golden Fleece.
2 (also escutcheon plate) A flat piece of metal for protection and often ornamentation, around a keyhole, door handle, or light switch.
Example sentences
  • Made of highly figured mahogany it retains its original large brass handles and keyhole escutcheons.
  • According to these orders, Robinson supplied fifty mortise locks, thirty-six pairs of octagonal glass knobs, twelve plain knob sets, and forty-eight escutcheons.
  • Over the years chairs have lost casters or the casters have lost their leather wraps; chests are without pulls, escutcheons, and decorative mounts; and the hinges of secretary doors have vanished.



a blot on one's escutcheon

A stain on one’s reputation or character.
Example sentences
  • Perhaps the readers of this journal have similar blots on their escutcheons.
  • Admittedly, his family life receives short shrift - the only blot on his escutcheon was a strained relationship with his spendthrift son - but this is inevitable given Paxton's workaholism.

escutcheon of pretence

A small shield within a coat of arms, bearing another coat or device to which the bearer has a claim, especially one to which a man’s wife is heiress.
Example sentences
  • An escutcheon of pretence was used only when the wife had no brothers, and could transmit the right to use her familial coat of arms to a man who would act as her family's representative - in this case, her husband.





Late 15th century: from Anglo-Norman French escuchon, based on Latin scutum 'shield'.

Words that rhyme with escutcheon


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: es¦cut|cheon

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.