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[gam-buh-suh n] /ˈgæm bə sən/
noun, Armor.
a quilted garment worn under mail.
Origin of gambeson
1300-50; Middle English ga(u)mbeson a military tunic < Old French gambison, gambeison, probably < Germanic Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for gambeson
Historical Examples
  • The Hauberk, which was worn over the gambeson, was the chief body defence.

    Armour & Weapons Charles John Ffoulkes
  • The gambeson appearing below the chausses, but covering the chaussons of mail, forming an extra protection to the knee.

    Armour in England J. Starkie Gardner
  • The gambeson is shown on Fig. 9, appearing beneath the edge of the hauberk just above the knee.

    Armour & Weapons Charles John Ffoulkes
  • We find the names of the gambeson, hacqueton, and pourpoint, and sometimes the jacke.

  • The gambeson (or Wambasium,) was a quilted garment, used either alone, or with other armour.

  • The shirts of mail are edged with wide borders, which may or may not represent the under tunic or gambeson showing beneath.

    Spanish Arms and Armour Albert F. Calvert
  • The ordinary series of body-garments worn by the knight are the Tunic, the gambeson and the Hauberk.

  • Quilted garments were still worn, either as the sole defence or as a gambeson under the mail.

    Armour & Weapons Charles John Ffoulkes
  • As the sole armour of the soldier, the gambeson is mentioned both by Wace and Guillaume le Breton.

  • The "Aketon" appears to be but another name for the gambeson.

British Dictionary definitions for gambeson


a quilted and padded or stuffed leather or cloth garment worn under chain mail in the Middle Ages and later as a doublet by men and women
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German wamba belly; see womb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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