One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1historical A piece of armour consisting of breastplate and backplate fastened together.
- ‘An armed figure with Corinthian helmet, cuirass, and greaves, and holding a spear and round shield, runs with a very wide stride behind each chariot.’
- ‘Body armour, in the form of the iron cuirass, continued to be worn throughout much of the 17th century before its eventual demise.’
- ‘He turned his back to Hunter, showing his armor was a breastplate instead of a cuirass like Hunter wore.’
- ‘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.’’
- ‘In the first, Herakles tries out his weapons, still wearing the cuirass that bespeaks military engagement, and in the second, he strips down and turns to physical force alone.’
An artificial ventilator which encloses the body, leaving the limbs free, and forces air in and out of the lungs by changes in pressure.
- ‘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from Old French cuirace, based on late Latin coriaceus (adjective), from corium ‘leather’ (of which a cuirass was originally made).
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