Definition of galea
: an anatomical part suggesting a helmet
Origin and Etymology of galea
borrowed from New Latin, going back to Latin, “helmet” (probably originally of leather, in contrast to cassis), borrowed from Greek galéē “weasel, marten,” earlier probably “weasel skin,” from gal- “weasel” (of uncertain origin) + -eē, suffix used in names of animal skins (as aigéā “goatskin,” alōpēkéē “skin of a fox”) ◆The Latin shift in the meaning of the Greek word is explained by the presumed custom of decorating helmets with the skin of a small carnivore, whose ferocity was hence magically transferred to the helmet's wearer; the meaning “helmet” is hypothetical in Greek, though not improbable (compare kynéē “helmet made from a dog skin”).
First Known Use: 1823
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