[kot-uh, kaw-tuh]

noun Ecclesiastical.

a surplice.
a short surplice, sleeveless or with short sleeves, worn especially by choristers.

Origin of cotta

1840–50; < Medieval Latin, variant of cota kind of tunic. See coat Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cotta

Historical Examples of cotta

  • General Montero and the Spanish refugees then emerged from the cotta.

  • Cotta made a sign to him to take a place by his side, on the same couch.


    Anatole France

  • Paphnutius, considering Cotta as nothing but an idolater, did not deign to reply.


    Anatole France

  • The Bravo went in with him, and began to help him out of his cotta and cassock.


    F(rancis) Marion Crawford

  • Cotta declares that he had felt no difficulty with Epicurus.

    The Life of Cicero

    Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for cotta



RC Church a short form of surplice

Word Origin for cotta

C19: from Italian: tunic, from Medieval Latin; see coat
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