Ber*ret"ta (?), n. [It., fr. LL. birrettum, berretum, a cap, dim. of L. birrus, birrum, a cloak to keep off rain, cf. Gr. tawny, red: cf. Sp. birreta, Pg. barrete, and E. Barret.]

A square cap worn by ecclesiastics of the Roman Catholic Church. A cardinal's berretta is scarlet; that worn by other clerics is black, except that a bishop's is lined with green.

[Also spelt beretta, biretta, etc.]

 

© Webster 1913.

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