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The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Pavis \Pa*vis\, Pavise \Pa*vise\, n. [OF. pavaix, F. pavois; cf. It. pavese, LL. pavense; perh. named from Pavia in Italy.] (Mil. Antiq.) A large heavy oblong shield covering the whole body, carried by a pavisor, who sometimes also screened an archer with it. It was originally carried but sometimes set up in permanent position [Written also pavis, pavais, pavese, and pavesse.] --Fairholt. [1913 Webster + WordNet 1.5]