One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A piece of armour to protect the breast of a horse (often richly ornamented, and retained for ornamental purposes after its defensive use had passed away); = poitrel. Also occasionally in extended use: a breast collar.
Late Middle English. From Anglo-Norman peitral, peitrel, paitrel, peiterel, peterel, petterel, partrill, etc., Anglo-Norman and Middle French petral, poitrail from post-classical Latin pectorale, specific use of classical Latin pectorāle breastplate. Compare post-classical Latin peterellum, paytrellum, Old Occitan peitral, Catalan pitral, Spanish petral, petral.
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