Definition of soutane in US English:



  • A type of cassock worn by Roman Catholic priests.

    • ‘They were all dressed in soutanes, which were a terrible barrier to openness and communication.’
    • ‘A black soutane with a narrow picotee edge of brilliant carmine red is the garment affected by Cardinals for everyday wear.’
    • ‘During retreats we'd walk around in silence, everyone in soutanes, rosary beads in hand, or a book, meditating, praying, thinking, drifting.’
    • ‘At that time, in the Parish Church, the servers wore black soutanes all through the year, until Christmas when the red soutane was donned.’
    • ‘Carroll enters the classroom - the setting is deliberately sparse: a large blackboard, a crucifix, a lift-up desk and one wooden chair - dressed in the white collarless shirt, black soutane and trousers of the Christian Brothers order.’
    • ‘I have only seen one priest wear a soutane in the last 20 years.’
    • ‘Yet I found him so repellent that if I saw the bizarre figure in sunglasses and black flapping soutane arriving, I sometimes ran into the toilets to avoid him.’
    • ‘A slight, white-haired figure wearing a short red cape and wine and gold stole over his white soutane, the new pope stepped smiling through red velvet curtains onto the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica shortly before 7 p.m.’
    • ‘When some poor seminarians were being bullied for wearing the soutane and wanting a traditional formation, one great man, after long years of service, at an age when most men are retired, took these seminarians in.’
    • ‘The Pope puts on his pontifical clericals - white soutane and skull cap.’
    • ‘‘He was very serious in his white surplice and black soutane,’ recalled one former friend.’


Mid 19th century: from French, from Italian sottana, from sotto ‘under’, from Latin subtus.