One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A cavalry soldier wearing a cuirass.
- ‘By 1700, armor was largely out of use, but a specialist class of heavy cavalry, the cuirassier, continued to wear torso armor and a helmet.’
- ‘Cavalry forces evolved into four categories throughout the ages: the cuirassier or heavy cavalryman, the lancer, the dragoon or mounted infantryman, and the light cavalry.’
- ‘By 1804, twelve French heavy cavalry regiments had become cuirassiers, with cuirasses and steel helmets.’
- ‘He quotes French cuirassiers (heavy cavalrymen) as saying that their sabers were ‘virtually useless in hand-to-hand cavalry fighting’.’
- ‘From up on the grassy ridge he barked out his orders and his other squadron of cuirassiers charged down the hill, beating their horses and driving them on into the fight.’
Mid 16th century: French, from cuirasse, from Old French cuirace (see cuirass).
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