biretta definition

  • noun:
    • Ecclesiastical A stiff square cap with three to four ridges over the top. Birettas tend to be worn specially by Roman Catholic clergy and therefore are black for priests, purple for bishops, and purple for cardinals.
    • A square limit, originally with four ridges over the top, surmounted by a tuft, donned by Roman Catholic clergy (and also by some inside Anglican Church). A three-sided biretta is donned by Roman Catholic clergy for liturgical parties.
    • identical to berretta.
    • initially, any small cap worn as distinctive of a trade or occupation; later, a scholastic cap, or including had been used indoors by people in the learned vocations; now, in the Roman Catholic Church, the ecclesiastical cap.
    • with expansion, a Tunis limit; a smoking-cap.
    • a stiff limit with ridges across the top; worn by Roman Catholic clergy

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