or ber·ret·ta, bir·ret·ta
- a stiff square cap with three or four upright projecting pieces extending from the center of the top to the edge, worn by ecclesiastics.
Origin of biretta
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- RC Church a stiff clerical cap having either three or four upright pieces projecting outwards from the centre to the edge: coloured black for priests, purple for bishops, red for cardinals, and white for certain members of religious orders
C16: from Italian berretta, from Old Provençal berret, from Late Latin birrus hooded cape
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
Word Origin and History for birretta
square cap worn by Catholic clergy, 1590s, from Italian beretta, from Late Latin birrus, birrum "large cloak with hood;" perhaps of Gaulish origin, or from Greek pyrros "flame-colored, yellow."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper