Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A pouch at the crotch of the tight-fitting breeches worn by men in the 15th and 16th centuries.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A part of male dress in front of the breeches to cover the male genitals, sometimes made very conspicuous in former times.
  • n. A conspicuous protection for the male genitals in a suit of plate armor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A part of male dress in front of the breeches, formerly made very conspicuous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In medieval male costume, a part of the hose in front, at the separation of the legs, made loose or in the form of a flap, or in some cases separately attached: it was rendered necessary by the extreme tightness of the garment from about 1475 to 1550.
  • n. In carriage-trimming, a half-circle at the lower front corner of a carriage top cast solid with the side-quarter or sewed on: used to cover slat-irons and prop-post.

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

  • n. (15th-16th century) a flap for the crotch of men's tight-fitting breeches

Etymologies

Middle English codpece : cod, bag, scrotum (from Old English codd, bag) + pece, piece; see piece.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English cod (“scrotum”) +‎ piece. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Speaking of timely, I just checked the BBC news headlines and the top one was 'Junk alert for space station crew'.

    March 13, 2009

  • P.S. How timely.

    March 13, 2009

  • "... but that kind of subtlety isn't Snyder's strong suit, which is obvious the first time we see Dr. Manhattan wander across the screen in the nude, with his giant blue junk flapping in the apocalyptic breeze—another misguided sop to the novel and its R-rated sensibility. Apparently, loyalty means never having to say, 'For God's sake, put on a codpiece.'"
    —Devin Gordon, "Till Death Do Us Part," Newsweek (March 9, 2009), 61

    March 13, 2009

  • Enter Magee Mor Matthew, a rugged rough rugheaded kern, in strossers with a buttoned codpiece, his nether stocks bemired with clauber of ten forests, a wand of wilding in his hand.
    Joyce, Ulysses, 9

    January 6, 2007