coat of arms

a surcoat or tabard embroidered with heraldic devices, worn by medieval knights over their armor.
a heraldic achievement of arms.

1325–75; Middle English; parallel to French cotte d'armes Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
coat of arms
1.  the heraldic bearings of a person, family, or corporation
2.  a surcoat decorated with family or personal bearings

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

coat of arms
late 15c., originally a coat embroidered with heraldic arms (worn over armor, etc); sense transferred to the heraldic arms themselves by 1560s. (A turncoat was one who put his coat on inside-out to hide the badge of his loyalty).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The king awarded him a coat of arms embellished with two cinnamon sticks, three nutmegs and twelve cloves.
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