biretta

noun
bi·​ret·​ta | \ bə-ˈre-tə How to pronounce biretta (audio) \

Definition of biretta

: a square cap with three ridges on top worn by clergymen especially of the Roman Catholic Church

Illustration of biretta

Illustration of biretta

Examples of biretta in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Instead of the usual thousands, only 10 guests per cardinal were allowed in St. Peter's Basilica as the pope gave the men their ring and traditional red hat, known as a biretta. NBC News, "Pope installs new cardinals, including first African-American," 28 Nov. 2020 Cardinals from Brunei and the Philippines could not travel and will receive their ring and biretta from a papal delegate. NBC News, "Pope installs new cardinals, including first African-American," 28 Nov. 2020 Among those receiving the cardinals’ biretta — a crimson-red square cap with three ridges — was his point man for helping Rome’s homeless and poor. Washington Post, "Pope to 14 new cardinals: Defend the dignity of the poor," 28 June 2018 Other looks in the show included a teal cargo jumpsuit with a matching miter, an oversized polo dress topped with a red velvet cardinal’s biretta, and a high-necked white dress that evoked an adult-size christening gown. New York Times, "Meet the Young Designers Making Catholic-Inspired Fashion," 9 May 2018 The deeply revered priest was a tall man with a long Old World beard and a biretta cap perched on his head. Joni Sternbach, Smithsonian, "A Pittsburgh Church Holds the Greatest Collection of Relics Outside of the Vatican," 29 July 2017 Tip o' the biretta to David Weinberger, Paul Boutin, James R. Giusti, and Paul McFedries. Wired Staff, WIRED, "Jargon Watch," 1 Nov. 2000 The deeply revered priest was a tall man with a long Old World beard and a biretta cap perched on his head. Joni Sternbach, Smithsonian, "A Pittsburgh Church Holds the Greatest Collection of Relics Outside of the Vatican," 30 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'biretta.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of biretta

1598, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for biretta

Italian berretta, from Old Occitan berret cap, from Medieval Latin birretum, from Late Latin birrus cloak with a hood, perhaps of Celtic origin; akin to Middle Irish berr short

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about biretta

Time Traveler for biretta

Time Traveler

The first known use of biretta was in 1598

See more words from the same year

Statistics for biretta

Cite this Entry

“Biretta.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/biretta. Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on biretta

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for biretta

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about biretta

Comments on biretta

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!