Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A cassock, especially one that buttons up and down the front.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a long gown with sleeves and buttons at the front

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A close garnment with straight sleeves, and skirts reaching to the ankles, and buttoned in front from top to bottom; especially, the black garment of this shape worn by the clergy in France and Italy as their daily dress; a cassock.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as cassock.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a long cassock with buttons down the front; worn by Roman Catholic priests

Etymologies

French, alteration (influenced by French sous, under) of obsolete sottane, from Italian sottana, from sotto, under, from Latin subtus, from sub.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French, from Spanish sotana, or Italian sottana, Latin subtana, from Latin subtus below, beneath, from sub under. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The priest hurries past on his way to say mass, the soutane flying superhero-style.

    schoolyard soccer

  • Watts can provide you with a classical soutane - piped fuchsia edges an optional extra - but it's the glorious copes and chasubles that catch the eye.

    Update on Some Liturgical Details for the Installation of Archbishop Vincent Nichols

  • Navin Patel can go one better, having donned his surplus and soutane to line up for one such team.

    The Knowledge | Football teams for religion | Barry Glendenning

  • When he got within forty yards of the church, he realized that the figure was not dressed in a long coat, but rather the vestments, or soutane, of a Catholic priest.

    Foreign Influence

  • She rang the bell and when the door opened, Father Morrison, in a soutane large enough to double as a tent, loomed over her.

    A Small Death in the Great Glen

  • Close up, the priest too had an institutional tinge; boiled-tattie complexion, musty soutane and a home haircut.

    A Small Death in the Great Glen

  • Jaw clenched in triumph, the priest whipped aside the skirts of his soutane.

    Sick Cycle Carousel

  • Father Bain's soutane was ripped down one side, showing an expanse of hairless white thigh with an ugly gash and several puncture marks beginning to ooze blood.

    Sick Cycle Carousel

  • "If you'll come to the surgery with me, Father, I'll cleanse those cuts for you," I offered, suppressing a smile at the spectacle the fat little priest presented, soutane flapping and argyle socks revealed.

    Sick Cycle Carousel

  • Hampered by his voluminous soutane, the priest tripped and fell, water and mud flying in spatters all around him.

    Sick Cycle Carousel

Comments

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  • "The youthful populace of Dublin are being sucked out of the churches by the ideological vacuum; on to the streets, then into the bars and restaurants which have colonised the city centre. Where once burly men in soutanes enforced the creed, now burly men in black overcoats enforce the guest list."
    Psychogeograpy by Will Self, 102

    October 16, 2010

  • "He saw the orthodox priest arriving from the neighboring village after a long hike over hills and through rocky gullies. His floor-length black soutane was spattered up to the knee with yellow clay and pollen from the broom blossoms."
    Don Juan: His Own Version by Peter Handke, translated by Krishna Winston, p 43

    April 14, 2010

  • Sounds like a good time. ;-)

    March 14, 2009

  • "'We see women flogging saints' statues,' Ozouf reports. 'Priests' soutanes drop to reveal the dress of the sans-culottes; nuns dance the carmagnole. A cardinal and a whore walk on either side of the coffin of Despotism.' News of revolutionary victories was often greeted with firecrackers, drums, singing, and dancing in the streets. 'They are like madmen who ought to be tied up, or rather like bacchantes,' the mayor of Leguillac remarked of the local revolutionaries, while the siegneur de Montbrun observed with distaste that 'they danced around like Hurons and Iroquois.'"
    —Barbara Ehrenreich, Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006), 110

    March 14, 2009