from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Defensive armor used for the entire body and often for the horse, also, especially the linked mail or scale armor of some eastern nations.
  • n. A horseman covered with a cataphract.
  • n. The armor or plate covering some fishes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Defensive armor used for the whole body and often for the horse, also, esp. the linked mail or scale armor of some eastern nations.
  • n. A horseman covered with a cataphract.
  • n. The armor or plate covering some fishes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An ancient defensive armor composed of scales of metal or other material sewed to a garment of leather or stuff, and covering often the whole body and the limbs, but not the head, upon which a helmet of another material was placed.
  • n. In zoology, the armor of plates or strong scales protecting some animals.
  • Fenced in; provided with bulwarks or a protecting covering; covered; protected: as, a cataphract war-galley.
  • Same as cataphracted.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. armor that protects the wearer's whole body


From Ancient Greek κατάφρακτος (katáphraktos, "fully covered, protected, fully armored"); from κατά ("fully, completely") + φρακτός ("fenced, protected"), from φράσσω ("I fence/secure/fortify, I block") (Wiktionary)


  • It also received several blows of the sword on the face, but, wearing as it did a cataphract made of sinew, it was not hurt, nor were the blows effective.

    De Re Militari: The Society for Medieval Military History » The Campaigns of Emperor Herakleios (620-6), according to the Chronicle of Theophanes Confessor

  • One day a cataphract sent his jack, Voro by name, with a question: Has my wife taken a lover?


  • One of the guests seated before me was a cataphract named Sire Vafra, a follower of King Corvus.


  • Galan had chosen to fight, though he knew as well as anyone that a cataphract without a horse draws enemies as a carcass draws flies.


  • In the morning a cataphract from Ardor had the audacity to stare at Sire Galan as he marched along.


  • He spoke to one cataphract or another to give them encouragement, but he had not the ease to make other men easy, as our king did—had done, when he was alive.


  • He said Sire Galan had spoken up when this cataphract eyed him, saying he wondered why he gazed so discourteously.


  • The cataphract and armiger were given more honorable deaths.


  • One cataphract from the clan of Lynx slipped away with his armiger, horseboy, and jack, and when he was caught the king made no more speeches of good riddance.


  • In those old "aphract" vessels the upper tier of rowers had to sit exposed on their benches with no real protection from the enemy's darts; but in the new "cataphract" ships like the "Invincible" there is a stout solid bulwark built up to shield the oarsmen from hostile sight and missiles alike.

    A Day in Old Athens; a Picture of Athenian Life


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  • Politicians never have lacked
    Opinions in absence of fact.
    The taunt and the gibe
    Are arms of the tribe
    And ignorance their cataphract.

    To honor the spirit of kindly fellowship which ordinarily characterizes this forum I have used the generic term “politicians” in this limerick, although it is unfair to tar them all with the same brush. Readers may substitute the name of any faction they choose to give the verse more piquancy. I have one in my mind for circulation elsewhere. (It scans better too.)

    August 24, 2015