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[kas-uh k] /ˈkæs ək/
a long, close-fitting garment worn by members of the clergy or others participating in church services.
a lightweight, double-breasted ecclesiastical coat or jacket, worn under the Geneva gown.
a member of the clergy.
Origin of cassock
1540-50; < Middle French casaque, perhaps < a Turkic word akin to the source of cossack Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cassock
Historical Examples
  • She was a nettle in which the rustle of the cassock was visible.

    Les Misrables Victor Hugo
  • He was holding apart the flaps of his cassock like the tails of a coat.

    Rene Mauperin Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt
  • On the green I saw a white man coming with a cassock on, by which and by the face of him I knew he was a priest.

    Island Nights' Entertainments Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Monsieur le Cur tucked it safely in the breast of his cassock.

    A Village of Vagabonds F. Berkeley Smith
  • Then, when the great door had closed behind him, he gathered up the skirts of his cassock and hurried down the narrow street.

    In Kedar's Tents Henry Seton Merriman
  • He heard his cassock, which was caught on the spout, crack and rip at every jerk that he gave it.

    Notre-Dame de Paris Victor Hugo
  • The Father brushed some crumbs from the front of his cassock and sat up higher in his chair.

    Tongues of Conscience Robert Smythe Hichens
  • The Bravo went in with him, and began to help him out of his cotta and cassock.

    Stradella F(rancis) Marion Crawford
  • The Brother remained standing there in silence, with his fat hands clasped in front of his cassock.

  • He was not yet quite certain that Adams had any more of the clergyman in him than his cassock.

    Joseph Andrews, Vol. 2 Henry Fielding
British Dictionary definitions for cassock


(Christianity) an ankle-length garment, usually black, worn by priests and choristers
Derived Forms
cassocked, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Old French casaque, from Italian casacca a long coat, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cassock

1540s, "long loose gown," from Middle French casaque "long coat" (16c.), probably ultimately from Turkish quzzak "nomad, adventurer," (the source of Cossack), from their typical riding coat. Or perhaps from Arabic kazagand, from Persian kazhagand "padded coat," from kazh "raw silk" + agand "stuffed." Chiefly a soldier's cloak 16c.-17c.; ecclesiastical use is from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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