[kas-uh k]


a long, close-fitting garment worn by members of the clergy or others participating in church services.
a lightweight, double-breasted ecclesiastical coat or jacket, worn under the Geneva gown.
a member of the clergy.

Origin of cassock

1540–50; < Middle Frenchcasaque, perhaps < a Turkic word akin to the source of Cossack Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cassock

Historical Examples of cassock

  • He was not yet quite certain that Adams had any more of the clergyman in him than his cassock.

  • Pierre, utterly bewildered, could find neither his breeches nor his cassock.

  • She looked down and saw that blood was flowing from his hand and down his cassock.

    Father Sergius

    Leo Tolstoy

  • He wore his cassock with the ease of long habit: he was young.

    A Nest of Spies

    Pierre Souvestre

  • He fumbled mechanically at the buttons of his cassock, which seemed to him all disarranged.

British Dictionary definitions for cassock



Christianity an ankle-length garment, usually black, worn by priests and choristers
Derived Formscassocked, adjective

Word Origin for cassock

C16: from Old French casaque, from Italian casacca a long coat, of uncertain origin
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 cassock

1540s, "long loose gown," from Middle French casaque "long coat" (16c.), probably ultimately from Turkish quzzak "nomad, adventurer," (the source of Cossack), from their typical riding coat. Or perhaps from Arabic kazagand, from Persian kazhagand "padded coat," from kazh "raw silk" + agand "stuffed." Chiefly a soldier's cloak 16c.-17c.; ecclesiastical use is from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper