Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

plastron

play
noun plas·tron \ˈplas-trən\

Definition of plastron

  1. 1 a :  a metal breastplate formerly worn under the hauberk b :  a quilted pad worn in fencing to protect the chest, waist, and the side on which the weapon is held

  2. 2 :  the ventral part of the shell of a tortoise or turtle consisting typically of nine symmetrically placed bones overlaid by horny plates

  3. 3 a :  a trimming like a bib for a woman's dress b :  dickey 1a

  4. 4 :  a thin film of air held by water-repellent hairs of some aquatic insects



Did You Know?

English speakers first borrowed French's word for a breastplate, plastron, as the name for the protective plate worn under a tunic of [chain mail](/dictionary/chain mail) by knights. In the 17th century, plastron was extended to the pad used to protect the torso of a fencer. Two centuries later, herpetologists appropriated the word for a slightly different type of protection: the underside of a turtle's shell, which consists typically of nine bones overlaid by horny plates. That was followed by the word's application in the world of fashion to coverings that adorn the front of a woman's bodice, such as a lacy bib, as well as to a man's separate or detachable starched shirtfront (which is typically worn under a jacket).

Origin and Etymology of plastron

Middle French, from Old Italian piastrone, augmentative of piastra thin metal plate — more at piastre


First Known Use: circa 1507


Learn More about plastron


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up plastron? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to depart quickly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

acommadate acommodate accommodate accomodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ