Definition of cassock in US English:



  • 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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is growing apparent from your vicar's shortening sermons that it is becoming uncomfortably warm weather in which to wear a cassock.’
    • ‘The mourners arrived in their black suits led by the vicar in his white cassock.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the cobalt light, their cassocks slapped softly against their trouser legs.’
    • ‘‘I hope he's got thermals on under his cassock,’ my friend Lucy shivered when I told her where I was going.’
    • ‘And there was his obituary, with a lithograph of a stout, balding man in a cassock with a slightly forked beard.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘From their immaculate haircuts and the swish of their exquisitely cut cassocks these were the lads from Rome.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘He was greeted by the Pope, dressed in a white cassock, who then brought him to the private library for a meeting.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She watched as the man, garbed appropriately in a black cassock and hat, disappeared through the cemetery, towards the lakeside and a small boat.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Orthodox and Byzantine Rite priests usually wear black cassocks, but gray and brown are also permitted.’
    • ‘Unlike in other nations, they stick to their identities by moving around in public places wearing the cassock,’ he says.’
    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.