- any covering worn as a defense against weapons.
- a suit of armor.
- a metallic sheathing or protective covering, especially metal plates, used on warships, armored vehicles, airplanes, and fortifications.
- mechanized units of military forces, as armored 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.
verb (used with object)
- to cover or equip with armor or armor plate.
- having a protective covering, such as armour or bone
- comprising units making use of armoured vehiclesan armoured brigade
- (of glass) toughened
- the US spelling of 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.
see chink in one’s armor; knight in shining armor.