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armor, apparatus for defense of persons, horses, and such objects as vehicles, naval vessels, and aircraft. Body armor developed early as protective suits made of such materials as leather, shells, wood, and basketwork, later supplemented by metal. Armor was made specifically for war, was often very costly, and could be an index of social status. A Greek hoplite's armor confirmed that he was a citizen, the Japanese warrior's armor and weapons revealed him as a samurai, and the full suit of armor worn by the European nobleman made him a knight. Around the world many of the same basic elements of armor developed, especially the shield, the helmet, the cuirass (or other chest protection), and shin guards. Some armor was flexible, with metal attached to cloth or even woven in mail. Other armor was made in plates or large pieces worn as a garment. The evolution of warfare, with increased mobility, diminished the importance of personal armor even before firearms speeded its disappearance from battle (17th cent.). In the wars of the 20th cent., steel helmets were reintroduced, and there were some experiments with various types of protective clothing. With the development of new composite materials, such as kevlar, the number of soldiers, police, and even civilians wearing body protection is increasing. Armor has also been used to protect vehicles for hundreds of years, a use that became much more important with the invention of the tank. Ships were sometimes armored against ramming even in ancient times; they are still armored, as are many military aircraft.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a means of protection for persons, military combat matériel, armament, and defensive installations from the effects of projectiles, bullets, and nuclear explosions. Armor for war matériel is made chiefly from steel. The basic requirements for armor include great durability (capacity to resist the force of bullets and shells) and long life (ability to withstand repeated shell hits). Durability and long life depend on the chemical composition of the steel, the technology of the smelting and heat treatment, and the entire technological process of the manufacture of armor parts and their products.

Armor is made for different purposes: bulletproof armor, which shields from bullets and shell fragments, is used in the manufacture of hulls for armored personnel carriers, light self-propelled artillery, amphibious tanks, and so on; shellproof armor, which protects against armor-piercing, shaped-charge, high-explosive, and other kinds of shells, is used in medium and heavy tanks, self-propelled artillery, and ships. Armor may be produced by either the casting or rolling process. Armor may be of monolithic construction—manufactured from a single sheet or shaped in one entire casting—or of combined multiple-unit construction. Armor interior composition is either homogeneous—that is, uniform armor having the same chemical composition and stress-strain properties throughout the entire cross section—or heterogeneous—that is, armor without uniform properties in section that is obtained from making plate gauge of different chemical composition.

The determining feature in the production of armor is its hardness. Homogeneous armor may have a high, medium, or low degree of hardness. Very hard armor is used for bulletproofing, armor of medium hardness for shellproofing; materials of low hardness are used as construction armor, which serves to provide structural strength at individual joints in armored structures.

In addition to steel, armor may also be made from aluminum alloys, plastics, or combinations of these materials.

The first use of armor for military purposes dates far back into the distant past. The Bronnyi Prikaz, which supervised the production and supply of armor, helmets, and other equipment for the Russian Army, was established in Russia in 1573. With the development of firearms, armor protection came to be used in fortifications and naval warfare. The first mention of armored ships is to be found in the account of the siege of Gibraltar by the Spanish and the French in 1782. In the first half of the 19th century ground forces also began to use armor protection in the form of gun shields. In the middle of the 19th century warships began to use armored plates for protection. In 1880, England mastered the production of nonuniform armor plates—the inside layer was iron and the outside layer was steel (the so-called steel-iron armor). In 1894 the Krupp factories in Germany began manufacturing steel-and-nickel plates whose resistance was 2.2 times greater than iron plates. In the early 20th century P. K. Nezvanov, an engineer at the Izhora factory in Russia, developed a process for manufacturing deck armor with high viscous properties. Between 1898 and 1911 the Obukhov factory produced ship armor with shellproof qualities far superior to those made abroad. The use of armor in motor vehicles and armored trains began early in the 20th century; armored tank production began in 1916. The armor thickness of early tanks was 8-10 mm, whereas those of World War II had gauges of 200 mm or more. The use of armor in airplanes also began before World War II. New types of armor steel were developed in the USSR during and after the Great Patriotic War.


Antonov, A. S., E. I. Magidovich, and B. A. Artamonov. Tank. Moscow, 1947.
Biriukov, V. S. Primenenie broni v voennom dele. Moscow, 1961.




(in Russian, dospekhi), battle gear covering and protecting various parts of the body of a warrior and his horse from the blows of cold steel. Some types of armor consisted of a fine metal net (mail); others, of metal plates. Metal helmets, hauberks, and wide metal belts were common types of armor. With the development of firearms at the end of the 17th century, armor lost its significance.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about armor?

Armor, or a shield, in a dream can have the positive meaning of being protected. Negatively, armor can connote psychological armor that prevents individuals from opening up and sharing themselves.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


Metal sheath enclosing a cable, primarily for mechanical protection.
Any physical protective covering, such as metal, used on vehicles or persons against projectiles or fragments.
Armored units or forces.
The component of a weapon system that gives protection to the vehicle or weapon on its way to the target.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


(US), armor
1. Nautical the watertight suit of a diver
2. Engineering permanent protection for an underwater structure
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


Armor could represent your defense mechanisms, those things that you use to protect yourself from self or others (e. g., denial and repression). Physical barriers may keep others away, as will your more negative behaviors and attitudes. On a more spiritual note, some believe that dreaming about armor may be a good sign which represents a shield of protection from difficulties and temptation.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The true expertise of the manufacturer shows in the ability to make the vehicle look as it did before the upgrades and armoring began, and in the attention to detail in trim and finish, resulting in a discreetly protected vehicle capable of fooling all but the most well-informed.
Because the Protector features state-of-the-art armoring processes, the vehicles are able to protect against NIJ III Threats, including but not limited to the 7.62x51mm rounds and blast-type threats.
military vehicles in Iraq has prompted a rethinking of the Army's approach to armoring trucks, officials said.
Just as the price of silicon carbide is declining, so is the cost for other armoring materials like boron carbide and aluminum oxide, according to King.
Just 18 months ago, said King, "if you had talked seriously to anybody about armoring logistics vehicles, the discussion would have been very brief.