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From Old French pavaix, French pavois; compare Italian pavese, Latin pavense; perhaps named from Pavia in Italy.


pavais (plural pavaises)

  1. (military, historical) A very large shield covering a soldier from head to foot, often with a projecting ridge running vertically down the center.
    • 1786, Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 27:
      The pavais, pavache, or tallevas was a large shield, or rather a portable mantlet, capable of covering a man from head to foot, and probably of sufficient thickness to resist the missive weapons then in use.