birretta

[buh-ret-uh]

biretta

or ber·ret·ta, bir·ret·ta

[buh-ret-uh]
noun
  1. 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

1590–1600; < Italian berretta, feminine variant of berretto < Old Provençal berret < Medieval Latin birrettum cap, equivalent to Late Latin birr(us) birrus + -ettum -et; apparently by the development: hooded cloak > hood > cap; compare Medieval Latin (circa 800) byrrus short hood (cuculla brevis)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for birretta

biretta

berretta

noun
  1. 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

Word Origin for biretta

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

biretta

n.

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