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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 Frenchcasaque, perhaps < a Turkic word akin to the source of Cossack Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cassock
Historical Examples
  • 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
  • Pierre, utterly bewildered, could find neither his breeches nor his cassock.

  • She looked down and saw that blood was flowing from his hand and down his cassock.

    Father Sergius Leo Tolstoy
  • He wore his cassock with the ease of long habit: he was young.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • He fumbled mechanically at the buttons of his cassock, which seemed to him all disarranged.

  • Let him have a cassock to preach in; let him have three cassocks, if he find benefit in them.

  • When this was done, he signalled to Brother Andrew to take off the cassock.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • Taking the letters from the pocket of his cassock, the Pope laid them on the table.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • Roma had knelt again, and was fingering the skirt of the Pope's cassock.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • With my head still buried in Father Dan's cassock I got it out at last.

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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