One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A piece of armour used to protect the shin.
- ‘In Caesar's time they seem to have been distinguished by armoured greaves protecting the shins and a deep plated belt.’
- ‘Beside the shield he makes a breastplate, a helmet, greaves and ankle straps, to protect Achilles' tender heels.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The discovery also includes silver cups, greaves (armour worn on the shins), bronze objects, ceramic dishes and weapons.’
- ‘Instead of calf-length greaves, both these types wore leg-protectors that came well above the knee.’
Middle English: from Old French greve ‘shin, greave’, of unknown origin.
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