from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Ecclesiastical A skullcap, especially one worn by Roman Catholic priests.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a skullcap worn by Roman Catholic priests
  • n. The vertical central area of the crown of a bird's head.
  • n. A round cavity or depression, in the form of a cup or cap, lathed and plastered; used to diminish the rise or elevation of a moderate chapel, alcove, etc. which would otherwise be too high for other pieces of the apartment.
  • n. The upper (superior) or lower (inferior) half of the globe of the eye.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Such a cap, worn by English serjeants at law.
  • n. Such a cap, worn by the French cavalry under their helmets.
  • n. Such a cap, worn by the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plain skull-cap or coif of haircloth, satin, or other fabric, worn by the Roman Catholic clergy to cover the tonsure when exposed to drafts;
  • n. in England, by serjeants-at-law on their wigs.
  • n. In armor and costume, that part of any head-dress which covers closely the crown of the head: as, the calotte of the helmet.
  • n. Anything having the form of a small cap, as the cap of a sword-hilt.
  • n. In architecture, a dome or cupola, or something of similar form, as a cup-shaped ceiling, the head of an alcove, etc.
  • n. In ornithology, a hood or cap of color upon the top of a bird's head.
  • n. Also written calote and callot.
  • n. In geology, an ice-cap or a glacier covering a large land area.
  • n. In zoology: The pole of attachment of Dicyemidæ which are parasitic in the kidneys of certain cephalopods; the polar cap.
  • n. In Polyzoa, a retractile disk formed at the aboral pole in the developing larva.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French, from Provençal calota or Italian callotta.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French calotte, diminutive of calot, from écale ("husk, shell (of a nut)") (due to similar shape and closely fitting the head), from Old French escale, from Old High German scāla (cognate to English scale).


  • Among the papers of this period are also a constitution for the "calotte," a secret society of his regiment organized to keep its members up to the mark of conduct expected from gentlemen and officers, and many political notes.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte Vol. I. (of IV.)

  • "calotte" at aet. 99, and did the same for his son and household

    Arabian nights. English

  • In old days it was a calotte worn under the turban; and it was protected by scalp-perspiration by an “Arakiyah”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • (O father of a felt calotte!) 75 In times of mourning Moslem women do not use perfumes or dyes, like the Henna here alluded to in the pink legs and feet of the dove.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Head-covering without visor, "chapeline casque leger en fornie de calotte sans masque."

    Archive 2008-02-24

  • Next, notice the helmet, the Duc d'Alencon specifically remarks that her helmet he calls it a calotte a sallet had no visor.

    Archive 2008-02-24

  • Jeanne was on a ladder, her standard in her hand, when her Standard was struck and she herself was hit on the head by a stone which was partly spent, and which struck her calotte.

    Archive 2008-02-24

  • The priest in the calotte expressed his approval, and himself contributed an interesting fact from the life of the saint, Ivan the Warrior.

    The Jew and other stories

  • The service in the house was already over; the priests — of whom one wore a calotte, and the other, rather younger, had most carefully combed and oiled his hair — appeared with all their retinue on the steps.

    The Jew and other stories

  • The embroidered calotte fell, and, in the twinkling of an eye, he had rumpled his hair all ends up in a most extravagant manner.

    Falk, by Joseph Conrad


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  • "This Ba'adiyīn cupola, petals brightly salient on the calotte, a play of walls and openings, image of seashell and grape leaf, gathering their compartments into a central stem ending in the cupola faced with volutes, plaster worked into floral patterns, itself receptacle of figures, broken lines, curves and inter-curves, arabesque of line projected into space, perfect Almoravid accomplishment based upon the transposition of the principles of Islamic decoration, flora and planar geometry, to an architecture lending volume to flat motifs, rutilant container, a balance of breaches cleverly circulating blue sky: what uncertain solitude, what southerliness made possible this achievement by interpretation of register, audacity of one who emerges from the desert to impose the notion of unification, to attain an ideal to be formulated centuries later by a Borromini, a Guarini, to celebrate by monument the feast of Catholic power, triumphant propagator of faith after overcoming its schismatic trauma?"

    Talismano by Abdelwahab Meddeb, translated by Jane Kuntz, pp 160-161 of the Dalkey Archive Press paperback

    September 30, 2011

  • " The bones of the cranial vault, the calvaria without the cranial base."

    - SNPA

    March 21, 2009

  • Didn't we have a whole bunch of stuff tagged sans culotte or something similar?

    February 8, 2009

  • I am not Greek, Roman, catholic or ancient. I am, therefore, sans-calotte.

    September 14, 2008

  • skullcap worn by Roman Catholic ecclesiastics with color by rank.

    September 14, 2008

  • small, round skullcap worn by ancient Greeks.

    August 19, 2008