plastron

noun
plas·tron | \ˈpla-strən \

Definition of plastron 

1a : a metal breastplate formerly worn under the hauberk

b : a quilted pad worn in fencing to protect the chest, waist, and the side on which the weapon is held

2 : the ventral part of the shell of a tortoise or turtle consisting typically of nine symmetrically placed bones overlaid by horny plates

3a : a trimming like a bib for a woman's dress

b : dickey sense 1a

4 : a thin film of air held by water-repellent hairs of some aquatic insects

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Did You Know?

English speakers first borrowed French's word for a breastplate, plastron, as the name for the protective plate worn under a tunic of [chain mail](/dictionary/chain mail) by knights. In the 17th century, plastron was extended to the pad used to protect the torso of a fencer. Two centuries later, herpetologists appropriated the word for a slightly different type of protection: the underside of a turtle's shell, which consists typically of nine bones overlaid by horny plates. That was followed by the word's application in the world of fashion to coverings that adorn the front of a woman's bodice, such as a lacy bib, as well as to a man's separate or detachable starched shirtfront (which is typically worn under a jacket).

Examples of plastron in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The cotton poplin plastron shirt took 11 hours to make, according to the French house. Rosemary Feitelberg | Wwd, latimes.com, "Melania Trump wears Chanel for first state dinner, Brigitte Macron goes with Louis Vuitton," 25 Apr. 2018 The main reason is that researchers cannot decipher the characters cut into the ox shoulder blades and turtle plastrons used for the soothe-saying, stymieing efforts to understand the writing system. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Museum Offers $15,000 Per Character to Decipher Oracle Bone Script," 26 July 2017 The main reason is that researchers cannot decipher the characters cut into the ox shoulder blades and turtle plastrons used for the soothe-saying, stymieing efforts to understand the writing system. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Museum Offers $15,000 Per Character to Decipher Oracle Bone Script," 26 July 2017 Males can be identified by their concave plastron, or bottom shell, which assists them in mating. National Geographic, "Amputee Tortoise Gets Moving With Wheels," 17 June 2016 Chanel Iman was in tow as well in a Vera Wang Collection black stretch canvas plastron, white cotton poplin button down and black wool maxi kilt from the Fall 2016 collection. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Vera Wang Thinks You Should Break All The Rules When Dressing for the Holidays–And Your Wedding," 9 Dec. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plastron.' 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 plastron

circa 1507, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for plastron

Middle French, from Old Italian piastrone, augmentative of piastra thin metal plate — more at piastre

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Time Traveler for plastron

The first known use of plastron was circa 1507

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about plastron

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