noun \ˈkā-ˌsän, -sən, British also kə-ˈsün\

Definition of CAISSON

a :  a chest to hold ammunition
b :  a usually 2-wheeled vehicle for artillery ammunition attachable to a horse-drawn limber; also :  a limber with its attached caisson
a :  a watertight chamber used in construction work under water or as a foundation
b :  a hollow floating box or a boat used as a floodgate for a dock or basin
:  coffer 3

Illustration of CAISSON

Origin of CAISSON

French, from Middle French, from Old Occitan, from caissa chest, from Latin capsa — more at case
First Known Use: circa 1702

Other Military Terms

bivouac, logistics, petard, salient, sally, supernumerary, tactical

Rhymes with CAISSON


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In engineering, a type of foundation most commonly used underwater for a bridge, but sometimes used in building construction. It is a large hollow structure that is sunk down through the earth by workers excavating from inside it; ultimately it becomes a permanent part of the pier. There are three types: the open caisson, open at both top and bottom; the box caisson, closed at the bottom; and the pneumatic caisson, with an airtight chamber to accommodate submerged workers. Caisson columns, typically 2 ft (0.6 m) or more in diameter, may be used as an alternative to bearing piles. A round hole is dug or bored to a stable layer of earth and temporarily supported by a steel shell, then filled with concrete poured around a cage of reinforcing bars.


Next Word in the Dictionary: caisson crib
Previous Word in the Dictionary: cairn terrier
All Words Near: caisson

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up caisson? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).