ba·​bush·​ka | \ bə-ˈbüsh-kə How to pronounce babushka (audio) , -ˈbu̇sh- How to pronounce babushka (audio) , ba- \

Definition of babushka

1a : a usually triangularly folded kerchief for the head
b : a head covering (such as a scarf) resembling a babushka
2a : grandmother Until my own babushka's generation very specific clothes were assigned to specific classes, specific hairstyles distinguishing married from unmarried women.— Francine du Plessix Gray
b : an elderly Russian woman … I jostled among babushkas clutching bags of food for a place on the bus …— Gary Lee

Illustration of babushka

Illustration of babushka

babushka 1a

Examples of babushka in a Sentence

an elderly Russian woman with a babushka
Recent Examples on the Web The Ukrainian babushka waited for a departing train headed east. NBC News, 2 May 2022 The look is finished off with a silk scarf tied around her head like a babushka, gigantic sunglasses, and a Dior tote with her name embroidered onto it. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 10 Feb. 2022 The babushka-wearing elderly women sweeping the vast square early every morning used bunches of twigs tied to short broomsticks. Washington Post, 12 Aug. 2021 Retro kerchiefs appeared at Conner Ives and Anna Sui, while Paco Rabanne imagined a cozier take: A faux fur babushka. Steff Yotka, Vogue, 19 Mar. 2021 For those who don’t fish for keeps, or for those whose haul exceeds the limits of their bellies, an old, dumpling-faced Russian woman in a babushka takes up the slack. Jonathan Miles, Field & Stream, 8 Dec. 2020 An old lady in a babushka greets him warmly and congratulates him on his great new gig as a bakery delivery man. Kat Rosenfield,, 4 May 2020 One mother has decided to adopt multiple personas: a Russian babushka, a cynical Brooklynite and a Scottish woman who loves the outdoors. New York Times, 15 Apr. 2020 Following in the footsteps of rapper A$AP Rocky and model Kendall Jenner, Jaden Smith became the latest style star to sport a babushka. Vogue, 28 Sep. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of babushka

1938, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for babushka

Russian, grandmother, diminutive of baba old woman

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The first known use of babushka was in 1938

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Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Babushka.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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