a. A piece of armor for protecting the breast and back, often consisting of two pieces fastened together.
b. The front piece of this armor.
2. Zoology A protective covering of bony plates or scales.
[Middle English curas, from Old French curasse, probably alteration (influenced by Old French cuir, leather) of Old Provençal coirassa, from Late Latin coriācea (vestis), leather (garment), feminine of coriāceus, from Latin corium, hide; see sker-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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