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[kaf-tan, kaf-tan] /ˈkæf tæn, kæfˈtæn/
a long garment having long sleeves and tied at the waist by a girdle, worn under a coat in the Middle East.
a long, full, usually collarless robe with wide sleeves that is worn at home for lounging or entertaining or at the beach as a cover-up.
Also, kaftan.
Origin of caftan
1585-95; < Russian kaftán < Turkish < Persian qaftān
Related forms
caftaned, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for caftan
Historical Examples
  • The guard disappeared; and the caftan falling to the ground, revealed Honain.

    Alroy Benjamin Disraeli
  • The Sultan had plainly written to him that he was to wear this caftan.

  • He was particular about his dress, and wore his caftan about a span shorter than any one else.

    The Jews of Barnow Karl Emil Franzos
  • He went to the monastery school as a Jew, in caftan and curls.

    The Jews of Barnow Karl Emil Franzos
  • Out of respect for the latter he had not removed his caftan.

  • With that he withdrew, having hid the money in the folds of his caftan.

    Debit and Credit Gustav Freytag
  • Here the old lady chuckled rather cynically, and wrapping her caftan around her, stalked out of the room.

    Dust Julian Hawthorne
  • She wore a long Persian caftan that reached to her ankles and defined rather than veiled her shapely figure.

  • Then the old man pushed up the sleeves of his caftan, like one who prepares to execute a masterstroke.

  • Dmitri was seized, his royal garments were torn off, and the caftan of a pastry-cook was placed upon him.

British Dictionary definitions for caftan


/ˈkæfˌtæn; -ˌtɑːn/
a variant spelling of kaftan
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 caftan

1590s, "long tunic worn in Turkey, etc.," from Turkish qaftan (also in Arabic), from Persian khaftan. As a similar shirt or dress style in the West, it is attested from c.1955.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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