[key-suh n, -son]
- 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.
- a boatlike structure used as a gate for a dock or the like.
- a two-wheeled wagon, used for carrying artillery ammunition.
- an ammunition chest.
- a wooden chest containing bombs or explosives, used formerly as a mine.
- Architecture. coffer(def 4).
Origin of caisson
1695–1705; < French, Middle French < Old Provençal, equivalent to caissa box (see case2) + -on augmentative suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for caisson
The men were down in the road, lifting the horses, dragging with them at gun and caisson.
The guns stopped, the men got down from limber and caisson, the horses were unhitched.
A caisson was struck, exploded with frightful glare and sound.
As the batteries come up from the river see that every caisson is filled.
It has two wheels, and carries ammunition the same as the caisson.My Days and Nights on the Battle-Field
Charles Carleton Coffin
- a watertight chamber open at the bottom and containing air under pressure, used to carry out construction work under water
- a similar unpressurized chamber
- a watertight float filled with air, used to raise sunken shipsSee also camel (def. 2)
- a watertight structure placed across the entrance of a basin, dry dock, etc, to exclude water from it
- a box containing explosives, formerly used as a mine
- an ammunition chest
- a two-wheeled vehicle containing an ammunition chest
- another name for coffer (def. 3)
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
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)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper