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[soo-tahn] /suˈtɑn/
noun, Ecclesiastical.
a cassock.
Origin of soutane
1830-40; < French < Italian sottana, feminine of sottano placed below, equivalent to sott(o) below (< Latin subtus) + -ano -an; form of the French word influenced by sous under Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for soutane
Historical Examples
  • They found him alighting from his mule, with soutane rolled up to the waist, showing a prodigious breadth of pea-green trousers.

    The Woodlands Orchids Frederick Boyle
  • With these sentiments Monsignor Pamphilio slipped the work under his soutane.

    The Library Andrew Lang
  • Half the court was composed of love-making ecclesiastics, and the soutane was a kind of diploma for wit and wickedness.

    The Wits and Beaux of Society Grace Wharton and Philip Wharton
  • He was pushed and struck by them, his soutane was torn to ribbons.

  • A "Brother," in a soutane, was going about from pillar to pillar, lighting the gas.

    Saturday's Child Kathleen Norris
  • I rubbed my eyes, and asked him what he had done with his soutane.

    A Gentleman of France Stanley Weyman
  • They also have a great aversion to any token of religion, fleeing at the sound of a consecrated bell or at the sight of a soutane.

  • Even your soutane would not save you if M. d'O and his crew heard you.

    The Chaplet of Pearls Charlotte M. Yonge
  • She caught at the skirt of my soutane, and broke into sobbing.

    News from the Duchy Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • The Father-General dispenses such members from the priesthood and from wearing the soutane.

    The Jesuits, 1534-1921 Thomas J. Campbell
British Dictionary definitions for soutane


(RC Church) a priest's cassock
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Old Italian sottana, from Medieval Latin subtanus (adj) (worn) beneath, from Latin subtus below
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 soutane

"long, buttoned gown or frock with sleeves, outer garment of Roman Catholic ecclesiastics," 1838, from French soutane, from Old French sotane "undershirt," from Medieval Latin subtana "an under-cassock," from Latin subtus "beneath, under, below" (see sub-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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