All Words Glossary

Glossary of Heraldry Terms
beginning with letter B
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backsword Tweet Definition of backsword Like Definition of backsword on Facebook
noun (plural backswords)
  1. A sword with one sharp edge.
    • 1884: Robert F. Burton, The Book of the Sword, page 140.
    • It is a thick, heavy backsword, eighteen inches long, with a bevel where the point should be, worn at the waist in a half-scabbard of wood, and used for digging as well as killing.
banner Tweet Definition of banner Like Definition of banner on Facebook
  1. A flag or standard used by a military commander, monarch or nation.
  2. Any large sign, especially if constructed of soft material or fabric.
The mayor hung a banner across Main Street to commemorate the town's 100th anniversary.
  1. A large piece of silk or other cloth, with a device or motto, extended on a crosspiece, and borne in a procession, or suspended in some conspicuous place.
  2. By extension, a cause or purpose; a campaign or movement.
They usually make their case under the banner of environmentalism.
  1. A type of advertisement in a web page or on television, usually taking the form of a graphic or animation above or alongside the content. Contrast popup, interstitial.
  2. (heraldry) The principal standard of a knight.
  3. A person etc. who bans something.
  1. exceptional, Exceptional; very good.
It is a banner achievement for an athelete to run a mile in under four minutes.
bar Tweet Definition of bar Like Definition of bar on Facebook
  1. A solid, more or less rigid object with a uniform cross-section smaller than its length.
  2. (metallurgy) a solid metal object with uniform (round, square, hexagonal, octagonal or rectangular) cross-section, whose smallest dimension is .25 inch or greater (US), a piece of thinner material being called a strip.
Ancient Sparta used iron s instead of handy coins in more valuable alloi, to physically disencourage the use of money
  1. A cuboid piece of any solid commodity.
bar of chocolate
bar of soap
  1. A long, narrow drawn or printed rectangle, cuboid or cylinder, especially as used in a bar code or a bar chart.
  2. A business licensed to sell intoxicating beverages for consumption on the premises, or the premises themselves; public house.
  3. The counter of such a premises
  4. A similar device or simply a closet containing alcoholic beverages in a private house or a hotel room.
  5. An official order or pronouncement that prohibits some activity.
  6. (computing, whimsical, derived from fubar) Used to stand for some unspecified entity, usually a second entity following foo.
Suppose we have two objects, foo and bar
  1. (legal: the Bar) Short for the Bar Exam, the legal licensing exam.
He's studying hard to pass the Bar this time; he's failed it twice before.
  1. (British: the Bar) A collective term for barristers.
  2. (British: the Bar) (loosely) The profession of barristers.
  3. (music) A vertical line across a musical staff dividing written music into sections, typically of equal durational value.
  4. (music) One of these musical sections.
  5. (soccer) The crossbar
  6. An addition to a military medal, on account of a subsequent act
  7. A linear shoaling landform feature within a body of water.
  8. (nautical) A ridge or succession of ridges of sand or other substance, especially a formation extending across the mouth of a river or harbor or off a beach, and which may obstruct navigation. (FM 55-501).
  9. (heraldry) One of the ordinary, ordinaries in heraldry.
See wikipedia article on the topic: (w, Ordinary (heraldry))
verb (bars, barring, barred, barred)
  1. (transitive) To obstruct the passage of (someone or something).
  2. (transitive) To prohibit.
I couldn't get into the nightclub because I had been barred
  1. (transitive) To lock or bolt with a bar.
bar the door
bard Tweet Definition of bard Like Definition of bard on Facebook
  1. A professional poet and singer, as among the ancient Celts, whose occupation was to compose and sing verses in honor of the heroic achievements of princes and brave men.
    • 1924: ARISTOTLE. Metaphysics. Translated by W. D. Ross. Nashotah, Wisconsin, USA: The Classical Library, 2001. Available at: <>. Book 1, Part 2.
    • : But the divine power cannot be jealous (nay, according to the proverb, 'bards tell a lie'),
      1. Hence: A poet; as, the bard of Avon.
      2. (Armor) A piece of defensive (or, sometimes, ornamental) armor for a horse's neck, breast, and flanks; a barb. (Often in the plural.)
      3. (Armor) Defensive armor formerly worn by a man at arms.
      4. (Cookery) A thin slice of fat bacon used to cover any meat or game.
      5. The exterior covering of the trunk and branches of a tree; the rind.
      6. Specifically, Peruvian bark.
  1. (Armor) To cover a horse in defensive armor.
  • 1786: The defensive armor with which the horses of the ancient knights or man at arms, men at arms were covered, or, to use the language of the time, barded, consisted of the following pieces made either of metal or jacked leather, the Chamfron, Chamfrein or Shaffron, the Criniere or Main Facre, the Poitrenal, Poitral or Breast Plate, and the Croupiere or Buttock Piece. " Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 29.
    1. (Cookery) To cover (meat or game) with a thin slice of fat bacon.
base Tweet Definition of base Like Definition of base on Facebook
  1. Something from which other things extend; a foundation.
  2. The starting point of a logical deduction or thought.
  3. A permanent structure for housing military personnel and material.
  4. The place where decisions for an organization are made; headquarters.
  5. (chemistry) Any of a class of generally water-soluble compounds, having bitter taste, that turn red litmus blue, and react with acids to form salts.
  6. A safe zone in the children's games of tag and hide-and-go-seek
  7. (architecture) The lowermost part of a column, between the shaft and the pedestal or pavement.
  8. (baseball) One of the three places that a runner can stand in safety.
  9. (biology, biochemistry) A nucleotide's nucleobase in the context of a DNA or RNA biopolymer.
  10. (botany) The end of a leaf,petal or similar organ where it is attached to its support.
  11. (electronics) The name of the controlling terminal of a transistor.
  12. (geometry) The lowest side of a in a triangle or other polygon, or the lowest face of a cone, pyramid or other polyhedron laid flat.
  13. (mathematics) A number raised to the power of an exponent.
The logarithm to 2 of 8 is 3.
  1. (topology) The set of sets from which a topology is generated.
adjective  (baser, basest)
base (more base, most base)
  1. low
  2. inferior
  3. immoral
  4. common
bassinet Tweet Definition of bassinet Like Definition of bassinet on Facebook
  1. A newborn baby's bed, typically made of woven reeds or straw.
  1. A bascinet.
    • 1786: Bassinets were worn in the reigns of Edward II. and III. and Richard II. by most of the English Infantry, as may be repeatedly seen in the Rolls of Parliament, and other public records. &mdash; Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 11.
bearing Tweet Definition of bearing Like Definition of bearing on Facebook
  1. A mechanical device that supports another part and/or reduces friction.
  2. (nautical) The horizontal angle between the direction of an object and that of true north; subject to variation and deviation when taken by a magnetic compass
  3. relevance, Relevance; a relationship or connection.
That has no on this issue.
  1. One's posture, demeanor, or manner.
She walks with a confident, self-assured .
  1. (Often in plural:bearings) direction, Direction or relative position.
  1. Present participle of to bear.
  1. Of a beam, column, or other device, carrying weight or load; as, a bearing wall.
beaver Tweet Definition of beaver Like Definition of beaver on Facebook
noun (pl2=beaver)
  1. An aquatic mammal of the genus Castor, having a wide, flat tail and webbed feet.
  2. (context, coarse, slang) The pubic hair and/or vulva of a woman.
bend sinister Tweet Definition of bend sinister Like Definition of bend sinister on Facebook
  1. (heraldry) A diagonal band on a coat of arms going from top right to bottom left (as you look at it), held to indicate bastardy.
billet Tweet Definition of billet Like Definition of billet on Facebook
  1. a place where a soldier is assigned to lodge
  2. metallurgy a semi-finished length of metal
  3. a short piece of wood, especially one used as firewood
  4. (heraldry) A rectangle used as a charge on an escutcheon
verb (billets, billeting or billetting, billeted or billetted)
  1. (context, of a householder etc) to lodge soldiers, usually by order
  2. (context, of a soldier) to lodge, or be quartered, in a private house
blade Tweet Definition of blade Like Definition of blade on Facebook
  1. The sharp-edged or pointed working end of a tool or utensil, e.g., a knife, chisel, or screwdriver.
  2. thin, Thin plate, foil.
  3. The flat or expanded part of a leaf or petal of a plant
  4. Any weapon or tool consisting of a blade (sword, knife, etc.)
  5. Any of the arms of a propeller. E.g., The plane has a four blade propeller.
  6. (context, ultimate frisbee) A throw characterized by a tight parabolic trajectory due to a steep lateral attitude.
  7. (context, rowing) An oar.
  8. (context, sailing) A rudder, daggerboard, or centerboard.
  9. (context, slang, mainly, US) A homosexual, usually male.
  10. (archaeology) A piece of prepared, sharp edged stone, often flint, at least twice as long as it is wide.
verb (blad, ing)
  1. (professional wrestling) To cut oneself intentionally, almost always on the forehead, with a small razor to induce bleeding during a match.
blazon Tweet Definition of blazon Like Definition of blazon on Facebook
  1. (heraldry) A verbal or written description of a coat of arms.
  • 1894: should never be forgotten that the best is that which is the most perspicuous &mdash; James Parker, A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry.
    1. (heraldry) A formalized language for describing a coat of arms.
  • 1997: We must banish, therefore, the persistent but wholly erroneous notion that the heralds invented many of the terms used in and borrowed the rest from the everyday lexicon of terms... &mdash; Gerard J. Brault, Early Blazon
    1. (heraldry): A coat of arms or a banner depicting a coat of arms.
  • verb 
    1. (transitive) To describe a coat of arms.
    • 1889: After Blazoning the Shield, you proceed to the exterior ornaments viz.: The Helmet, Lambrequin, Crest, Supporters, Badge, and Motto &mdash; Charles Norton Elvin, A Dictionary of Heraldry
    breastplate Tweet Definition of breastplate Like Definition of breastplate on Facebook
    1. A piece of armor that covers the chest.
    2. A piece of horse tack designed to prevent the saddle slipping backwards.
    brigandine Tweet Definition of brigandine Like Definition of brigandine on Facebook
    1. (Armor) A coat of armor for the body, consisting of scales or plates, sometimes overlapping each other, generally of metal, and sewn to linen or other material. It was worn in the Middle Ages.
    • 1786: The brigandine takes its name from the troops, by which it was first worn, who were called brigans, they were a kind of light armed irregular foot, much addicted to plunder, whence it is probable the appellation of brigands was given to other freebooters. &mdash; Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 19.
    byrnie Tweet Definition of byrnie Like Definition of byrnie on Facebook
    1. (historical) A chain-mail coat.
      • 1972: Unferth stood beside him, his huge arms folded on his . " John Gardner, Grendel (André Deutsch 1972, p. 97)
      • 1992: The mail-coat, or , was made of iron links that probably were cut out of sheet metal with a die, or from flat hammered wire cut into short lengths. " Calvin B Kendall, Voyage to the Other World (University of Minnesota 1992, p. 19)

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