cais·​son | \ ˈkā-ˌsän How to pronounce caisson (audio) , -sᵊn, British also kə-ˈsün \

Definition of caisson

1a : 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
2a : 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

Illustration of caisson

Illustration of caisson

caisson 1b

Examples of caisson in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The caisson would normally have a casket on it, draped in an American flag. Drew F. Lawrence And Katie Bo Lillis, CNN, 7 Apr. 2022 Pershing, wearing a dark mourning band on one sleeve, and Harding, wearing a top hat, walked side by side behind the caisson. Michael E. Ruane, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Nov. 2021 The elaborate sendoff included a caisson ride for the cremated remains of Cole, who was Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot in the daring bombing mission over Japan that boosted American morale after five months of spectacular defeats across the Pacific. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, 7 Sep. 2021 Recently, crews completed drilling 3-foot caissons into the bedrock and installing Geofoam behind the new retaining wall. Jennifer Rios, The Denver Post, 22 Sep. 2019 Two years ago on our visit, a detachment from the Old Guard–the ceremonial troops who work at Arlington–was lined up in formation behind a riderless horse and caisson. Elliot Ackerman, Time, 10 Oct. 2019 His coffin was loaded on a caisson, a riderless horse trailing behind, just like that day with my daughter. Elliot Ackerman, Time, 10 Oct. 2019 Crews have drilled a series of caissons down into bedrock and placed 6,000 blocks of geofoam, measuring slightly more than 25,000 cubic yards in volume, as a substitute for dirt. Jon Murray, The Denver Post, 27 Sep. 2019 As was one of the first soldiers to arrive, his job was to deploy concrete caissons that would form a temporary harbor to help soldiers rapidly load cargo onto the beach. Adam Beam, The Seattle Times, 19 Nov. 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of caisson

circa 1702, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for caisson

French, from Middle French, from Old Occitan, from caissa chest, from Latin capsa — more at case

Learn More About caisson

Time Traveler for caisson

Time Traveler

The first known use of caisson was circa 1702

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near caisson



caisson crib

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for caisson

Cite this Entry

“Caisson.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2022.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on caisson

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for caisson

Nglish: Translation of caisson for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about caisson


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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