Definition of cassock in English:



  • A full-length garment worn by certain Christian clergy, members of church choirs, and others having an office or role in a church.

    • ‘It is growing apparent from your vicar's shortening sermons that it is becoming uncomfortably warm weather in which to wear a cassock.’
    • ‘Serious students from across the world in black cassocks and dangling crosses file to and from classes, but they're not entirely back in medieval times.’
    • ‘In the cobalt light, their cassocks slapped softly against their trouser legs.’
    • ‘She watched as the man, garbed appropriately in a black cassock and hat, disappeared through the cemetery, towards the lakeside and a small boat.’
    • ‘Peter had my package tucked under his arm and was marching down the hall, sending the hem of his cassock flying up to his knees.’
    • ‘I handed in my cassock, the black and white outfit that had raised our dog's hackles and set him to barking when I first modelled it at home for my astonished family, who had stopped attending years earlier.’
    • ‘From their immaculate haircuts and the swish of their exquisitely cut cassocks these were the lads from Rome.’
    • ‘‘I hope he's got thermals on under his cassock,’ my friend Lucy shivered when I told her where I was going.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘The curate's study was an 18th century room that he could not afford to heat, so he would cocoon himself in a cassock and heavy cloak.’
    • ‘The guild also purchased material and made the choirboys new cassocks, in addition to contributing towards the cost of new hymn and prayer books for the congregation.’
    • ‘The mourners arrived in their black suits led by the vicar in his white cassock.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And there was his obituary, with a lithograph of a stout, balding man in a cassock with a slightly forked beard.’
    • ‘Unlike in other nations, they stick to their identities by moving around in public places wearing the cassock,’ he says.’
    • ‘Orthodox and Byzantine Rite priests usually wear black cassocks, but gray and brown are also permitted.’
    • ‘Wearing a cassock and cloak, the Bishop will take gifts to a synagogue, a mosque, a Sikh Gurdwara, a Hindu temple and a Catholic church where he will offer prayers before the welcome service.’
    • ‘He was greeted by the Pope, dressed in a white cassock, who then brought him to the private library for a meeting.’
    vestment, surplice, rochet, alb, dalmatic, chasuble
    View synonyms


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