car·​a·​pace | \ ˈker-ə-ˌpās How to pronounce carapace (audio) , ˈka-rə-\

Definition of carapace

1 : a bony or chitinous case or shield covering the back or part of the back of an animal (such as a turtle or crab)
2 : a protective, decorative, or disguising shell the carapace of reserve he built around himself— M. M. Mintz

Examples of carapace in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Officers discovered 20 lobsters in the back of Marcelo’s truck; eighteen of which were undersized and six of the lobsters’ carapaces were punctured, the Herald reported. Fox News, "Fishermen found with over 50 illegally caught lobsters," 29 May 2018 Their strange feeding style begins with a bite, and a tight grasp of the crab's main body, or carapace. Douglas Main, National Geographic, "This Snake Rips Its Prey Into Pieces, Instead of Swallowing it Whole," 6 Apr. 2018 Visitors find themselves in Gregor Samsa’s bedroom; looking down reveals a greyish carapace and six stick-like limbs. The Economist, "Is literature next in line for virtual-reality treatment?," 8 Mar. 2018 But those rows of blank windows and unvarying girders and columns, the unadorned stone carapaces and glass skins, take on their own sublimity. A.o. Scott, New York Times, "Review: ‘Tall’ Is a Little Movie About How Buildings Got So Big," 17 Jan. 2018 In this world, the hoodie, a significant emblem of the Black Lives Matter movement, has been idiotically repurposed as a white man's carapace. Justin Chang,, "Bruce Willis takes aim and misfires in an imbecilic 'Death Wish' remake," 2 Mar. 2018 The dress forms a pyramid, with the face atop, in a way that suggests a protective carapace, hiding from view the first lady's body and some of her femininity, which were targets of racist attack during her tenure in the East Wing. Pelican Bomb,, "Living on the edge: Artist captures disappearing coastline," 15 Feb. 2018 The second, is that the tortoise died near the pond from starvation or heat stroke in the arid environment and a nearby crocodile scavenged its rotting carapace. Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times, "Ancient Crocodiles Once Feasted on Giant Tortoises on This Island," 23 Jan. 2018 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell emerged from his carapace and tried to adjourn the Senate. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Nobody Knows How to Play This Game Anymore," 19 Jan. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of carapace

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for carapace

French, from Spanish carapacho

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about carapace

Dictionary Entries near carapace








Statistics for carapace

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for carapace

The first known use of carapace was in 1836

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for carapace



English Language Learners Definition of carapace

technical : a hard shell on the back of some animals (such as turtles or crabs)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on carapace

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with carapace

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for carapace Encyclopedia article about carapace

Comments on carapace

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


showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!