any covering worn as a defense against weapons.
a suit of armor.
a metallic sheathing or protective covering, especially metal plates, used on warships, armored vehicles, airplanes, and fortifications.
mechanized units of military forces, as armored divisions.
Also called armament. any protective covering, as on certain animals, insects, or plants.
any quality, characteristic, situation, or thing that serves as protection: A chilling courtesy was his only armor.
the outer, protective wrapping of metal, usually fine, braided steel wires, on a cable.
verb (used with object)
to cover or equip with armor or armor plate.
Also, especially British, armour.

1250–1300; Middle English armo(u)r, armure < Anglo-French armour(e), armure Old French armëure < Latin armātūra armature; assimilated, in Middle English and Anglo-French, to nouns ending in -our -or2

armorless, adjective
antiarmor, adjective
subarmor, noun

amour, armoire, armor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
armor (ˈɑːmə)
the US spelling of armour

armour or (US) armor (ˈɑːmə)
1.  any defensive covering, esp that of metal, chain mail, etc, worn by medieval warriors to prevent injury to the body in battle
2.  the protective metal plates on a tank, warship, etc
3.  military armoured fighting vehicles in general; military units equipped with these
4.  any protective covering, such as the shell of certain animals
5.  nautical the watertight suit of a diver
6.  engineering permanent protection for an underwater structure
7.  heraldic insignia; arms
8.  (tr) to equip or cover with armour
[C13: from Old French armure, from Latin armātūra armour, equipment]
armor or (US) armor
[C13: from Old French armure, from Latin armātūra armour, equipment]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "mail, defensive covering worn in combat," from O.Fr. armeure (12c.), from L. armatura "arms, equipment," from arma "arms, gear" (see arm (2)). The word might have died with jousting if not for late 19c. transference to metal-shielded machinery beginning with U.S. Civil
War ironclads (first attested in this sense in an 1855 report from the U.S. Congressional Committee on Naval Affairs).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see chink in one's armor; knight in shining armor.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Bacteria coat your skin in an ultrathin protective armor, which helps keep harmful microbes at bay.
Fake or real, body armor exerts a pull on those inclined to flaunt it as a
  fashion statement.
While he played well that game, seeing the armor of the player get broken gives
  incentive to fans to chant.
Ships gave up on armor a long time ago in favor of radar guided point-defense.
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