car·​a·​pace ˈker-ə-ˌpās How to pronounce carapace (audio)
: a bony or chitinous case or shield covering the back or part of the back of an animal (such as a turtle or crab)
: a protective, decorative, or disguising shell
the carapace of reserve he built around himselfM. M. Mintz

Examples of carapace in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Its impressive carapace alone can measure up to 12 inches across, with legs that can extend up to 12 feet from claw to claw. Anna Nordseth, Discover Magazine, 1 Mar. 2024 Based on a 1973 novel by Abe Kobo, this film about a man who wears a cardboard box as a mobile carapace started as a successful pitch from Ishii to Abe 32 years ago. Mark Schilling, Variety, 15 Feb. 2024 Effortlessly, unabashedly learned; tender beneath its professorial carapace; vaguely excessive. Dan Piepenbring, Harper's Magazine, 14 Dec. 2023 Black burn marks on some of the crab carapaces and pincers indicate that the crustaceans were subjected to temperatures up to 600 to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, indicative of being roasted on coals. Ryan McRae, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Dec. 2023 At La Scala, Ratmansky’s original choreography makes details and nuances of the story pop, as if a carapace of formulaic interpretation has been cracked open. Roslyn Sulcas, New York Times, 18 Dec. 2023 Cracks in the Will and Jada carapace became more pronounced. Helena Andrews-Dyer, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2023 But Groff is an actor who’s able to communicate hurt and humanity even through a carapace of ego and moral deficiency. Sara Holdren, Vulture, 10 Oct. 2023 Abbas sees fluidity beneath the regime’s hard carapace and optimistically suggests that a Western policy of engagement could push the Taliban toward pragmatism. Hassan Abbas, Foreign Affairs, 22 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'carapace.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, from Spanish carapacho

First Known Use

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of carapace was in 1836

Dictionary Entries Near carapace

Cite this Entry

“Carapace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


car·​a·​pace ˈkar-ə-ˌpās How to pronounce carapace (audio)
: a bony or horny case or shield covering all or part of the back of an animal (as a turtle)

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