The garment worn by members of classical religious communities. It derives from various forms of male or female dress in the middle ages. Later communities adopted a variant of the clerical black cassock. In recent years many religious communities have simplified the habit, stopped wearing it in public, or abolished it.
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.