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 But don’t worry: you aren’t expected to sport an abaya or a kandura. Jenna Scatena, Condé Nast Traveler, "Visiting Abu Dhabi: What to Know Before You Go," 11 Nov. 2019 On paper, there are no laws criminalizing women who do not wear the abaya. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, "Saudi women, bucking tradition, forgo abaya," 22 Sep. 2019 Visitors are welcome inside, but must wear appropriate clothing (abayas are available). Melinda Healy, Condé Nast Traveler, "Six Best Day Trips From Abu Dhabi," 6 Nov. 2019 About 90% of Aramco’s employees are Saudi, but women are as likely to wear trousers as an abaya. The Economist, "Aramco is both the oil sector’s Goliath and a firm vexed by problems," 31 Oct. 2019 Her abaya, the all-black shroud that is the customary attire for women in Saudi Arabia, stayed home. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, "Saudi women, bucking tradition, forgo abaya," 22 Sep. 2019 Minaj, who is known for her provocative dance moves and lyrics, would be performing in front of female fans who are expected to wear modest full-length robes known as an abaya. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "Nicki Minaj cancels Saudi Arabia concert 'after careful reflection'," 9 July 2019 Inside a room, Ahlam sat in a plastic chair, trembling under a black abaya which concealed her face. Arwa Damon, CNN, "They escaped ISIS. Then they got sucked into Baghdad's sex trafficking underworld," 3 July 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for abaya

Time Traveler

The first known use of abaya was in 1810

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Statistics for abaya

Last Updated

27 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Abaya.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abayas. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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