Definition of cassock in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkasək/


Image of cassock
A full-length garment of a single color worn by certain Christian clergy, members of church choirs, acolytes, and others having some particular office or role in a church.
Example sentences
  • The choristers wore shirt and tie (long ties for the boys and bowties for the men) with black robes over their shoulders (not their liturgical cassocks and surplices).
  • In the cobalt light, their cassocks slapped softly against their trouser legs.
  • But it seems that the cassock and the cross can become an amazing uniform which still has the power to give its wearer a protected voice.



Example sentences
  • ‘Let us pray,’ Ben requested, and the rest of the choir, all cassocked, surplussed, hymn-booked, anthem-booked and service-sheeted up bowed their heads dutifully and obediently to the thirteen-year-old.
  • I walked in the company of bearded, cassocked monks, then a pair of elderly pilgrims whose fingers flicked worry beads in hands clasped behind their backs.
  • A steady stream of tourists processed round the inside of the building in five minutes flat, herded and sssh-ed by the cassocked attendants.


Mid 16th century: from French casaque 'long coat', from Italian casacca 'riding coat', probably from Turkic kazak 'vagabond'. Compare with Cossack.

  • This clerical garment has a disreputable history. It comes via French casaque ‘long coat’, from Italian casacca ‘riding coat’, probably based on Turkic kazak ‘vagabond’. A cassock once referred to a long coat worn by some soldiers in the 16th and 17th centuries; the ecclesiastical use appears to have arisen in English in the 17th century.

Words that rhyme with cassock

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.