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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Chape \Chape\, n. [F., a churchman's cope, a cover, a chape, fr. L. cappa. See Cap.]

  1. The piece by which an object is attached to something, as the frog of a scabbard or the metal loop at the back of a buckle by which it is fastened to a strap.

  2. The transverse guard of a sword or dagger.

  3. The metal plate or tip which protects the end of a scabbard, belt, etc.


n. 1 (context archaic English) The piece by which an object is attached to something, such as the frog of a scabbard or the metal loop at the back of a buckle by which it is fastened to a strap. 2 (context archaic English) The transverse guard of a sword or dagger. 3 (context archaic English) The lower metallic cap of a sword's scabbard.


Chape has had various meanings in English, but the predominant one is a protective fitting at the bottom of a scabbard or sheath for a sword or dagger (10 in the diagram). Historic blade weapons often had leather scabbards with metal fittings at either end, sometimes decorated. These are generally either in some sort of U shape, protecting the edges only, or a pocket shape covering the sides of the scabbard as well. The reinforced end of a single-piece metal scabbard can also be called the chape.

The scabbard chape is not to be confused with the chappe, a French term - rain-guard in English - on the sword itself, a fitting at the top of the blade in late medieval weapons, just below the crossguard of the hilt. The chappe fitted outside the scabbard, presumably helping to hold the sword snugly and preventing rain coming in (4 in the diagram). This would typically have been of leather, though everything about these is uncertain as no original examples have survived, and they are mainly known from art. Another meaning for chape sometimes found is the plate or fitting connecting some buckles to their belt or strap.

Usage examples of "chape".

I noticed two white Chapes at the edge of the forest, and I dare go no farther tonight!

Scabbards were of wood, covered in leather and with metal chapes and mouths, worn slung from a saber-tache attached to the left side of the belt.

A leather swordbelt, gold-embroidered at the edges, carried a long steel-halted rapier in a leather scabbard chaped with steel.

The chape of his quiver touched the ground and the embroidered lid caught him in the ribs.

Its weight pulled his hips out of alignment and the chape protecting the bottom of the scabbard regularly knocked against his calf as he walked.

He drew the sword, gripping the hilt in one hand and the chape of the simple, sturdy scabbard in the other.

Le chevalier perforce broke off as his mount, stung by a forceful dig in the flank by the dull point of the metal chape of Timoteo's sword sheath, reared and essayed to bolt.

Such a power of bir-r-ds, would knock down 'praties, in a wonderful degree, and make even butthermilk chape and plenthiful.

She ran one finger down Avoic's second-best scabbard, which was chaped in tarnished silver and inlaid with spirals and interlaced wolves.

Ful fressh and newe hir geere apiked was, Hir knyves were chaped noght with bras, But al with silver wroght ful clene and weel, Hir girdles and hir pouches everydeel.

Calling out to her to enter, she immediately turned back to the bed chapes, this time poking at the underside of them, trying to pop the key out.