AskDefine | Define visor

Dictionary Definition



1 a piece of armor plate (with eye slits) fixed or hinged to a medieval helmet to protect the face [syn: vizor]
2 a brim that projects to the front to shade the eyes; "he pulled down the bill of his cap and trudged ahead" [syn: bill, peak, eyeshade, vizor]

User Contributed Dictionary



From viser, from visiere.



  1. A part of a helmet, arranged so as to lift or open, and so show the face. The openings for seeing and breathing are generally in it.
    • 1786, A close helmet entirely covers the head, face, and neck, having on the front perforations for the admission of air, and slits through which the wearer may see objects around him, this part which is stiled the visor lifts up by means of a pivot over each ear. — Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 7.
  2. A mask used to disfigure or disguise.
    • 1608, No visor does become black villainy So well as soft and tender flattery. — William Shakspeare, Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Act IV, Scene IV, line 44.
  3. The fore piece of a cap, projecting over, and protecting the eyes.


part of a helmet

Extensive Definition

A visor is a surface that protects the eyes, such as shading them from the sun or other bright light or protecting them from objects. Nowadays visors are transparent, but before strong transparent substances such as polycarbonate were invented, visors were opaque like a mask with small holes to see and breathe through, such as:
Some modern devices called visors are similar, for example:
Types of modern tranparent visors include:
  • The transparent or semi-transparent front part of a motorcycle crash helmet or police riotsquad helmets.
  • A type of hat consisting only of a visor and a way to fasten it to the head.
  • Any such vertical surface on any hat or helmet.
  • Any such horizontal surface on any hat or helmet (called a peak in British English).
  • A device in an automobile that the driver or front passenger can lower over part of the windshield to block the sun (sun visor).
  • An eyeshield to protect the eyes from sunlight on an American football helmet.
  • A shield to protect the eyes from sunlight on a flight helmet.
  • Green eyeshades, formerly worn by accountants and others engaged in vision-intensive, detail-oriented occupations.
The word vizard (sometimes visard) is used in Shakespearean English to refer to a visor, a mask, or a disguise (ex. "There, then, that vizard, that superfluous case, that hid the worse and show'd the better face." -- Love's Labors Lost V.ii.387).
visor in Spanish: Visor
visor in Swedish: Visir

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

bill, camouflage, dark glasses, disguise, domino, eyeshade, eyeshield, false colors, false face, false front, goggles, incognito, mask, masque, masquerade, mummery, peak, protective coloration, shades, smoke screen, smoked glasses, sunglasses, vizard, vizard mask
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