breast·​plate | \ ˈbres(t)-ˌplāt How to pronounce breastplate (audio) \

Definition of breastplate

1 : a usually metal plate worn as defensive armor for the breast — see armor illustration
2 : a vestment worn in ancient times by a Jewish high priest and set with 12 gems bearing the names of the tribes of Israel
3 : a piece against which a worker's breast is pressed in operating a tool (such as a breast drill)

Examples of breastplate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Slits on either side of the small plate suggest it was worn as a breastplate or chest ornament, but beyond that, says Van Allen, archaeologists have not reached a consensus on what its iconography symbolizes. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 June 2021 Like previous years, the cast will include a central actor who wears a breastplate modeled after—what else?—the Echenique disc. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 June 2021 But beneath that breastplate of horror, there are layers upon layers of sarcophagi limiting the agency and humanity of people like me. Cheri Lucas Rowlands, Longreads, 15 Apr. 2021 Nearly 40 years later, the two items — a ceremonial helmet and a breastplate — were identified in the private collection of a family in Bordeaux, in western France. Jenny Gross,, 6 Mar. 2021 Why then, an astute observer might ask, does Kahmora show up to set wearing full hip/ass pads and a breastplate with erect nipples? Paul Mccallion, Vulture, 22 Jan. 2021 The color palette was also more subdued: a deeper red breastplate (with muted stars), dark blue shorts and boots, and silver accessories (save for the golden lasso of truth). New York Times, 29 Dec. 2020 In the Ashkenazi Jewish tradition of Central and Eastern Europe, such breastplate-like shields are placed on the textile mantle covering a Torah scroll. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, 11 Dec. 2020 His costume featured a menacing grilled face mask, a glistening black helmet modeled after samurai headgear, a leather jumpsuit, black gloves, knee-high boots, a sweeping cape and a flashing electronic chest panel on a fiberglass breastplate. Louie Estrada, Washington Post, 29 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breastplate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of breastplate

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of breastplate was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

17 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Breastplate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for breastplate



English Language Learners Definition of breastplate

: a piece of metal that covers a person's chest and that was part of the protective clothing (called armor) that soldiers wore in the past


breast·​plate | \ ˈbrest-ˌplāt How to pronounce breastplate (audio) \

Kids Definition of breastplate

: a piece of armor for covering the breast

More from Merriam-Webster on breastplate Encyclopedia article about breastplate


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