caf·​tan ˈkaf-(ˌ)tan How to pronounce caftan (audio)
variants or less commonly kaftan
: a usually cotton or silk ankle-length garment with long sleeves that is common throughout the Middle East

Examples of caftan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ultra-feminine ruffles offset thigh-baring high rise bottoms and silky, floor-length caftans in vivid tones are the perfect items to toss in your carry on bag. Sheryll Donerson, Peoplemag, 16 Feb. 2023 Then there are the artists of the dining room, who carefully plot each detail: the guest list, the menu, the table décor, the topics of conversation, the caftan in which to greet one’s guests, communicating a precise balance of elegance and nonchalance. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 19 Nov. 2023 There’s something about pom poms on a cover-up that’s just so cute, and this gorgeous caftan is lined with dozens of them. Nicol Natale, Peoplemag, 29 July 2023 The Resort 2024 collection is a celebration of versatility as the team worked on expanding its pieces accentuated with plunging necklines, caftans, and effortless day dresses. Essence, 24 Oct. 2023 The Gold Showstopper Lacey Terrell/Prime Video Daisy’s jaw-dropping final tour look performing at Chicago’s epic Soldier Field is teased in the opening episode, and the story behind her Halston pleated caftan and 1930s gold crochet dress from Palace Costume doesn’t disappoint. Emma Fraser, ELLE, 3 Mar. 2023 Harris changed into a white linen caftan and went into town for groceries—he’d volunteered to make dinner, for the second day in a row. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 18 Sep. 2023 The amfAR Gala Venezia co-chair opted for a Georges Chakra Couture look at the festival, including a caftan with gold fringe, a gold bodysuit and some massive heels. Brenton Blanchet, Peoplemag, 16 Sep. 2023 Typically this means opting for flowing caftans that go from day to night with ease, standout swimsuits topped with chic beach coverups, airy crochet pieces, and of course breezy summer dresses galore. Sophie Dweck,, 25 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'caftan.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Russian & Turkish; Russian kaftan, from Turkish, from Persian qaftān

First Known Use

1591, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of caftan was in 1591

Dictionary Entries Near caftan

Cite this Entry

“Caftan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants also kaftan
: an ankle-length garment with long sleeves that is worn in eastern Mediterranean countries

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