Definition of carapace in English:



  • The hard upper shell of a tortoise, crustacean, or arachnid.

    figurative ‘under her carapace of self-confidence she was very sensitive to criticism’
    • ‘Ostracods shed the carapace with each molt, whereas the conchostracans simply add material to the carapace as they grow.’
    • ‘The dorsal carapace, as far as is known to the authors, has never been described from the fossil record.’
    • ‘The carapace of these turtles lacks scutes and is covered instead with a leathery skin.’
    • ‘All specimens are exuviae, with thin and fragile carapaces and abdomens and fragmentary bodies and appendages.’
    • ‘Only crabs with more than 95 percent of the dorsal carapace exposed were selected.’
    • ‘Some have distinctive markings on their heads and on their carapace, or upper shell.’
    • ‘The narrow border of the carapace is visible, especially at the anterior and dorsal margins.’
    • ‘Both specimens are probably molts, as only the dorsal carapace is preserved.’
    • ‘But what emerged from the dustbin, like a tortoise from its carapace, wasn't aggressive.’
    • ‘DECAPOD CRUSTACEANS are frequently represented in the fossil record by their carapaces, which are composed of calcified cuticle.’
    • ‘The carapace is used for protection and so a new shell is usually grown under the old in order for the organism to be shielded at all times.’
    • ‘With such scathing one-liners Steers gives his film a hard carapace of irony.’
    • ‘In general, the morphology of the carapace of the type species is more subtle than that exhibited on the new species.’
    • ‘The galatheid crabs had particularly high reflectances, relatively spectrally neutral on the small carapaces, and quite red on the large legs.’
    • ‘These genera have well-ornamented carapaces that exhibit carapace width and length ratios that differ from the other genera within the family.’
    • ‘It exhibits the ventral side of the body but the carapace is removed and dorsally visible.’
    • ‘In the performance of this task, at last the hard carapace of my resistance broke apart.’
    • ‘In some species, the carapace is domed, while most have a low-arching carapace.’
    • ‘The hard carapace or upper shell of some sea turtles acts as a protection from predators.’
    • ‘Rare complete carapaces of larger specimens are present and those of smaller instars are more common.’
    carapace, outside, exterior
    View synonyms


Mid 19th century: from French, from Spanish carapacho, of unknown origin.