aba·​ya | \ ə-ˈbī-ə How to pronounce abaya (audio) \

Definition of abaya

: a loose-fitting full-length robe worn by some Muslim women

Examples of abaya in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Dressed in a cream abaya and matching headscarf, Farahat confesses that after so many years being denied the right to drive in her home country, her brain is having a hard time catching up with the new Saudi Arabia. Aryn Baker / Riyadh, Time, "We Took a Ride With Saudi Arabia's First Women Taxi Drivers," 25 June 2018 Women are expected and encouraged to wear the traditional abaya, a long black robe that covers most of a woman's skin. Hannah Wiley, USA TODAY, "Saudi Arabia's 'right to drive' not enough, human rights experts say," 13 June 2018 This inspired her to create and pursue a patent for a cycling abaya with legs. Christine Ro, The Atlantic, "How Cycling Clothing Opened Doors for Women," 15 Apr. 2018 The country legally requires women to cover themselves while in public by wearing an abaya, a loosefitting cloak. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "A Saudi fashion show skipped the models and showed dresses using drones," 7 June 2018 In the same year, a woman named Malak al-Shehri was arrested in the Saudi capital of Riyadh for tweeting a photo of herself walking without an abaya, which is mandated by the country’s dress code. Saba Imtiaz, Marie Claire, "Meet the Kardashians of the Middle East," 7 May 2018 The collection features abayas, traditional loose-fitting overgarments; hijabs, the classic headscarves; and sleeveless dresses. Elizabeth Wellington, Philly.com, "Philly's Muslim fashionistas will spend this weekend at a pop-up shop just for them | Elizabeth Wellington," 10 May 2018 To me, the abaya is like what a kimono is in Japan. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Amidst Sweeping Social Changes and Women’s Rights Reforms, Saudi Arabia Hosted Its First-Ever Fashion Week," 17 Apr. 2018 One Saudi cyclist, Baraah Luhaid, kept having to deal with her abaya (a robe-style dress) getting stuck in her bike chain. Christine Ro, The Atlantic, "How Cycling Clothing Opened Doors for Women," 15 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of abaya

1810, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abaya

Arabic ʽabāya

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The first known use of abaya was in 1810

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to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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