Cassock, the coat formerly worn by all orders of the clergy in the Roman and English churches; in the Church of Rome it varies in color with the dignity of the wearer. Priests wear black; bishops, purple; cardinals, scarlet; and popes, white. In the Church of England, black is worn by all the three orders of the clergy, and the garment is of cloth or silk, with plain sleeves like a coat, made to fit close to the body, and tied round the middle with a girdle. It is worn under the gown or surplice. The cassock was not originally appropriated to the clergy: the word is used in Shakspeare for a military coat.