[kaf-tan, kaf-tan]


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 formscaf·taned, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for caftan

bathrobe, housecoat, yukata

Examples from the Web for caftan

Historical Examples of caftan

  • The guard disappeared; and the caftan falling to the ground, revealed Honain.


    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.

British Dictionary definitions for caftan



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

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