Definition of pelta in English:



  • 1A small light shield, as used by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

    • ‘Their arms were the bow, spear, and axe, a crescent-shaped shield, called pelta, and (in early art) a helmet - the original model in the Greek mind apparently being the goddess Athena.’
    • ‘In general the name simply seems to have become for describing a largish oval shield; sometimes meaning a heavy shield, at other times being used to describe what was really an oval-shaped pelta.’
    • ‘One idea I've been kicking around for a shield is a Greek pelta.’
    1. 1.1An ornamental motif resembling a shield.


From Latin, from Greek peltē.