aba·​ya ə-ˈbī-ə How to pronounce abaya (audio)
: a loose-fitting full-length robe worn by some Muslim women

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Women may choose to wear the head to toe covering called a burqa, or a cloth veil covering their face paired with a headscarf and long robe called an abaya, said Muhajir, the ministry of virtue and prevention of vice spokesman. Washington Post, 7 May 2022 An example sent alongside showed a long, black abaya more typical of that worn in the Persian Gulf, with a head and face covering, black socks and gloves. Washington Post, 12 Jan. 2022 The new rule only allows a woman's eyes to be exposed, meaning women must either wear a burqa or combine a veil and headscarf with a long robe called an abaya. Grayson Quay, The Week, 8 May 2022 This was an articulation of culturally modest attire in powerfully outspoken colors and fabrics, integrating the abaya into looks running from uptown candy pink boucle coat and fisherman cap to studiedly nonchalant duster coat and overall. Luke Leitch, Vogue, 25 Feb. 2022 While wearing the abaya or headscarf is not mandatory anymore, modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders is recommended. Shaistha Khan, USA TODAY, 8 Feb. 2022 After a 2018 royal decree pronounced that women were no longer obliged under Saudi law to wear the abaya, many women have repurposed the loosely fitting long-flowing cloak into fashionable, open-front kimonos. Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2021 Following their mother’s lead, each layered on a black dress, black abaya, head scarf and niqab, as well as a face mask. New York Times, 27 Oct. 2021 Two handbags stuffed with personal documents were slung across her black abaya. Washington Post, 19 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

Word History


Arabic ʽabāya

First Known Use

1810, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of abaya was in 1810

Dictionary Entries Near abaya

Cite this Entry

“Abaya.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abaya. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

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