Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

caisson

[key-suh n, -son]
See more synonyms for caisson on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a structure used in underwater work, consisting of an airtight chamber, open at the bottom and containing air under sufficient pressure to exclude the water.
  2. a boatlike structure used as a gate for a dock or the like.
  3. Nautical.
    1. Also called camel, pontoon.a float for raising a sunken vessel, sunk beside the vessel, made fast to it, and then pumped out to make it buoyant.
    2. a watertight structure built against a damaged area of a hull to render the hull watertight; cofferdam.
  4. a two-wheeled wagon, used for carrying artillery ammunition.
  5. an ammunition chest.
  6. a wooden chest containing bombs or explosives, used formerly as a mine.
  7. Architecture. coffer(def 4).
Show More

Origin of caisson

1695–1705; < French, Middle French < Old Provençal, equivalent to caissa box (see case2) + -on augmentative suffix
Related formscais·soned, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

casechamberchestfloatbox

Examples from the Web for caisson

Historical Examples

  • The men were down in the road, lifting the horses, dragging with them at gun and caisson.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • The guns stopped, the men got down from limber and caisson, the horses were unhitched.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • A caisson was struck, exploded with frightful glare and sound.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • As the batteries come up from the river see that every caisson is filled.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • It has two wheels, and carries ammunition the same as the caisson.


British Dictionary definitions for caisson

caisson

noun
  1. a watertight chamber open at the bottom and containing air under pressure, used to carry out construction work under water
  2. a similar unpressurized chamber
  3. a watertight float filled with air, used to raise sunken shipsSee also camel (def. 2)
  4. a watertight structure placed across the entrance of a basin, dry dock, etc, to exclude water from it
    1. a box containing explosives, formerly used as a mine
    2. an ammunition chest
    3. a two-wheeled vehicle containing an ammunition chest
  5. another name for coffer (def. 3)
Show More

Word Origin

C18: from French, assimilated to caisse case ²
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 caisson

n.

1704, from French caisson "ammunition wagon, box, crate," from Middle French caisson "large box" (16c.), from Italian cassone, augmentative form of cassa "a chest," from Latin capsa "a box" (see case (n.2)).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper