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 Tokugawa Ieyasu, who ruled Japan in the early 1600s, acquired a new pair for himself with frames delicately crafted from the carapace of a hawksbill sea turtle. Justin Grubb, National Geographic, "Trade in sea turtle products is banned, but they’re still sold in Japan," 20 Sep. 2019 Besides having a carapace that weighed more than a ton, fossil evidence shows their shells got as big as 9.8 feet from top to bottom. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "This Prehistoric Mega Turtle Was a Big Boy," 17 Feb. 2020 When illuminated, the insect’s carapace dazzles with a sparkling green prismatic spray. The Economist, "Bright, iridescent beetles are surprisingly well camouflaged," 23 Jan. 2020 Back in the lab, Bednarsek looked at the crabs’ shells, known as its carapace, under an electron microscope. oregonlive, "Ocean acidification is impacting Dungeness crabs, Oregon’s most-valuable fishery, study shows," 24 Jan. 2020 Salted crab releases its funk, along with bits of claw and carapace., "For three generations, a dim alley in Bangkok’s Chinatown was home to a rice porridge stand opened by an immigrant from southern China. Then, in 2017, the street stall was included in Michelin’s Bangkok edition.," 15 Dec. 2019 Their tapioca flour coating makes the flesh gooey, giving one the impression of eating a giant, delectable insect complete with a crispy carapace. Soleil Ho,, "Bold and fearless, Nari is SF’s most exciting new restaurant," 14 Nov. 2019 Feavel said the turtle was likely hit by a vehicle, which fractured the skull, carapace (top shell) and plastron (bottom shell). Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After 3½ years of rehab, Wildlife In Need Center has released a turtle back into the wild," 1 Nov. 2019 Tufenkji tells Chung, and their carapaces—or defensive shells—did not develop properly. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Your Soothing Cup of Tea May Contain Billions of Microplastics," 28 Sep. 2019

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

Time Traveler for carapace

Time Traveler

The first known use of carapace was in 1836

See more words from the same year

Statistics for carapace

Last Updated

27 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Carapace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for carapace


How to pronounce carapace (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for carapace

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!