Definition of armour in English:


(US armor)


  • 1The metal coverings formerly worn to protect the body in battle.

    ‘knights in armour’
    ‘a suit of armour’
    • ‘There were four warriors, in full battle armor, standing at the end of the hallway.’
    • ‘These cavalry soldiers wore thick leather jerkins for protection as full plated armour would slow down their horses.’
    • ‘He was dressed like a centurion, with titanium armor protecting his every body part.’
    • ‘For example, during the Middle Ages in Europe, knights dressed in suits of armor and rode into battle on powerful horses.’
    • ‘As Orestes and the Furies confront each other, Athena arrives at the temple dressed in full battle armor.’
    • ‘All the posters showed the same image: a gladiator, clad in full battle armor, drinking a bottle of strange blue liquid.’
    • ‘In it, I saw myself dressed in chain mail armor, riding into battle.’
    • ‘The man who dragged her from the house wore the shining, metal armor of a knight.’
    • ‘The knights gathered their armor and readied themselves for battle.’
    • ‘Whether or not a musket ball could penetrate armour was dependent on a number of factors, one of which is that firearms in those days did not always fire.’
    • ‘Clad in a suit of white armor and flying her own standard she liberated France from the English at the battle of Orleans.’
    • ‘She stood next to a man who was in a complete suit of metal armor.’
    • ‘They wore chain mail armour which gave them much protection.’
    • ‘Limb armour was far rarer than body or head armour.’
    • ‘Inside was a large hall, decorated with suits of armor and tapestries of battle.’
    • ‘The finds include a shoulder-guard of iron scales held together with bronze wire, and examples of the laminated armour used by legionaries to protect their sword arms.’
    • ‘Sendei ripped off his outer clothes to reveal battle armour and a crossbow hanging from a leather belt.’
    • ‘Under the cloaks the priests were clad in heavy battle armor.’
    • ‘The armor appeared to be very similar to a normal suit of knight's armor, only thicker and taller.’
    • ‘The climb for William's soldiers - in their heavy chain mail armour - would have been difficult even if the Saxons had not been trying to kill them!’
    protective covering, armour plate
    covering, protection, sheathing, shield
    chain armour, chain mail, coat of mail, panoply
    View synonyms
  • 2The tough metal layer covering a military vehicle or ship to defend it from attack.

    • ‘When the aircraft arrived from Chad, the gear doors and some armor plate was missing.’
    • ‘Mike Tremoglie exposes the distortions in media reports of what Rumsfeld said in Iraq about armour for U.S. military vehicles.’
    • ‘When a shaped charge explodes it projects a stream of molten metal and gas which can penetrate considerable thicknesses of armour plate.’
    • ‘The plant is the largest producer of armor plate for the U.S. military.’
    • ‘First, the convoy should have at least five vehicles and they should have extra armor plate or Kevlar blankets attached to protect the crew.’
    • ‘Being so hard, its density twice that of lead - it is used to tip armour-piercing shells and built into the armour of military vehicles.’
    • ‘The Ijuin fuze allowed the shell to explode on impact rather than after it had penetrated the armor of enemy ships.’
    • ‘The welded steel and aluminium alloy hull is fitted with spall liners and add-on titanium armour plate to protect against anti-tank weapons.’
    • ‘Sandbags were eventually replaced with locally fabricated steel armor plate.’
    • ‘For protection against mines the vehicle is fitted with a floor spall liner and 18 mm armour plate in the floor.’
    • ‘BA said all its 340 planes would get a full-length metal armour plate fitted, which will substantially reinforce cockpit door exteriors and prevent unauthorised access to the flight deck.’
    • ‘A beard of several days darkened his face, and nearly every bit of mail, leather and armor plate that he wore seemed to have acquired some blemish or other.’
    • ‘By using removable armor plate and removable side panels, the seat is completely concealed when not being used.’
    • ‘The plane was lightened a bit by removal of armor plate and some military systems but the airframe was essentially stock.’
    • ‘Use of these copper-free alloys has increased in recent years and now includes automotive applications, structural members and armor plate for military vehicles, and components of other transportation equipment.’
    • ‘The round penetrated through his arm into his flack vest and was stopped by his armor plate.’
    • ‘Due to its high density, which is about twice that of lead, and other physical properties, depleted uranium is used in munitions designed to penetrate armour plate.’
    • ‘Shrapnel hit the armor plate under the cockpit, mangled the plating and destroyed the equipment mounted directly above.’
    • ‘Will the New Zealand Army be purchasing and fitting extra armour to its light armoured vehicles; if not, why not, and, if so, at what cost?’
    • ‘In fact, one soldier thanked Rumsfeld and presented him with an armor plate that saved his life by stopping a sniper's bullet.’
    • ‘They cured that problem by covering the PT boat with armor plate.’
    • ‘Applications for 5xxx-series alloys include automobile and appliance trim, pressure vessels, armor plate, and components for marine and cryogenic service.’
    protective covering, armour plate
    covering, protection, sheathing, shield
    chain armour, chain mail, coat of mail, panoply
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Military vehicles collectively.
      ‘infantry, armour, and logistic units’
      • ‘Together with the armour, artillery and infantry, the Royal Engineers form one of the combat elements of the army.’
      • ‘In battle, the artillery's role is to provide fire support for the infantry, cavalry, armor and other units.’
      • ‘I figured by this point, we'd have three divisions of armor, mechanized infantry, and Marines in Kuwait.’
      • ‘Most irritating were the German rocket launchers, which miraculously decimate infantry and armour alike with impunity.’
      • ‘Israeli infantry and armor rolled away from the town of Beit Hanoun and the nearby Jabaliya refugee camp shortly after daybreak, witnesses said.’
      • ‘Quick-moving armour, motorised infantry, the Luftwaffe flying both as artillery and as close support resulted in rapid dominance.’
      • ‘An armor or infantry task force traditionally performs these roles with engineers attached as the reduction element.’
      • ‘Thus by the 20th century it had become necessary to integrate infantry, artillery and armour, as well as air and land, air and sea, and land and sea forces.’
      • ‘Syrian's armored forces moved on the Golan Plateau to be met by Israeli armor and mechanized infantry brigades.’
      • ‘No one weapon was predominant, but victory usually went to the side which best combined its infantry, armour, and artillery and enjoyed air superiority.’
      • ‘There, the infantry and the armour troops had been doing the same task.’
      • ‘He then attacked the isolated defense with infantry and armor from different axes.’
      • ‘If you are the medical platoon leader for an infantry or armor battalion task force, you are expected to have what you need to treat patients.’
      • ‘Israeli armour and infantry pushed into Jordan capturing the West Bank, deep into Sinai up to the Suez Canal and into the Golan Heights in Syria.’
      • ‘On Dec 4th Pakistani infantry supported by armour captured Mandiala North after bitter hand to hand fighting.’
      • ‘Artillery positions will have to be silenced, either by superior artillery power or by sending armour and infantry to do the work.’
      • ‘In the meantime, the gunners gave close and effective fire support to the infantry and armor troops.’
      • ‘We have been encountered by fierce infantry resistance, yet our superior weaponry and armor has allowed us to crush this resistance.’
      • ‘This excludes women from employment in armour, artillery, infantry and combat engineer units/positions.’
      • ‘Separating attacking infantry from their supporting armor would also be a logical approach.’
  • 3The protective layer or shell of some animals and plants.

    • ‘Lobsters, like all animals with exoskeletons, periodically shed their armor as they grow.’
    • ‘There is armour, an insect-like carapace; and there is drapery, a second, looser skin.’
    • ‘In many systems skeletal armor has been correlated with the level or type of predation pressure in the environment.’
    • ‘Body protected by armour of bony plates, male carries fertilised eggs until they hatch into miniature adults.’
    • ‘Unlike the new species, these four Tertiary species have flat bases, and none has pebble armor like the new species.’
    • ‘The pirarucu's sheer size and bony armor provide defenses against predators.’
    • ‘Notice that each of the two body sections is expanded outward, providing a protective armor which shields the legs and gills.’
    • ‘Such hairs serve as a protective armor for plants because they secrete polyol ester chemicals that are deadly to certain insect pests.’
    • ‘The bony armor of the earliest jawless fish was dermal bone; so are shark scales, shoulder blades, and the roof of your skull.’
    • ‘Most dinoflagellates are encased in plates of armor.’
    • ‘The trilobite eye is in continuity with the rest of its shelly armor.’
    • ‘The oddly jointed pectoral fin armor is a memorable feature of the placoderms, especially Antiarchs.’
    • ‘Related agnathans with external armour occur widely from the Late Silurian to the Devonian, but they all became extinct before the start of the Carboniferous.’
    • ‘As a result of this armor, the longnose gar has no major predators.’
    • ‘But Main, the Harvard University biologist, said the plates would not have been very effective as armor.’
    • ‘The dorsal armor may be a single plate, or may be comprised of as many as nine smaller plates.’
    • ‘The bony plates on the armadillos' back serves as protective armour from predators.’
    • ‘The shell is considered the most highly developed protective armor of any vertebrate species.’
    carapace, outside, exterior
    View synonyms
  • 4A person's emotional, social, or other defences.

    ‘his armour of self-confidence’
    • ‘These tiny parasites have been burrowing under your spiritual armour for way too long now.’
    • ‘Buy all the poetry you can find; it is the soul's beautiful armor.’
    • ‘Beneath the social armour of her Galliano jacket, Gucci trousers and Manolos, her beauty is as fragile as porcelain.’
    • ‘Everyone enters adulthood with a whole lot of emotional armour and they erect walls about them - suspicious and very guarded.’
    • ‘His psychological armor will make him seem more self-sufficient and stronger than the people he will meet in Newfoundland.’
    • ‘There seems no stopping its growth and there appears no chink in the armour of Fred Goodwin, who was named global businessman of the year by Forbes magazine at the end of last year.’
    • ‘I wasn't so interested in Tracy herself; my main thought was what happened behind the shield of social armor.’
    • ‘While you think wearing a suit of emotional armor is safe, it keeps people at a distance.’
    • ‘Getting hurt no longer seemed inevitable, and my emotional armor began to come off.’
    • ‘And all my armour and resources and defences have stripped away, leaving me soft and vulnerable, and gently bleeding.’
    • ‘Just occasionally she lets slip a chink in her emotional armour.’


  • Provide (someone) with emotional, social, or other defences.

    ‘the knowledge armoured him against her’
    • ‘We've made armoring yourself for the untamed outback - or a reasonable facsimile - a much less anxious process.’
    • ‘I survived only by mentally armoring myself by humming tunes and sketches from the Muppets to myself.’
    • ‘We learn the art and power of no protection - a spiritual power, not an conquest won through armoring ourselves against pain, or against an enemy.’
    • ‘We'd barely unpacked the tree when a call came through and before I could blink, they were all armouring themselves up and heading out the door.’
    • ‘Publishing an article a month later about all the negative stuff would just bounce off the armoured PR shell and people would just tell you to stop harping on about a subject that's already closed.’
    • ‘If only for the arrogance and self-belief it will armour you with.’


Middle English: from Old French armure, from Latin armatura, from armare to arm (see arm).