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carapaceKAIR-uh-pace , noun;

1.The thick shell that covers the back of the turtle, the crab, and other animals.

2.Something likened to a shell that serves to protect or isolate from external influence.


Desperate to win his father’s attention and respect, Kennedy became a hard man for a long while, covering over his sensitivity and capacity for empathy with a carapace of arrogance.

— Evan Thomas, Robert Kennedy: His Life

Almost all the vivid, eyewitness accounts we have . . . date from a quarter of a century later, when Degas, celebrated and successful, had developed a crusty, cantankerous carapace, from which he emerged occasionally to deliver his famously caustic and enigmatic mots.

— Christopher E. G. Benfey, Degas in New Orleans

Eisenman, who is Meier’s second cousin, was so neurotically insecure about his abilities that he sought to hide them within the dense carapace of arcane theory.

— Martin Filler, “The Spirit of ’76”, New Republic, July 9, 2001


Carapace comes from French, from Spanish carapacho, itself of uncertain origin.

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