bal·​a·​cla·​va | \ ˌba-lə-ˈklä-və How to pronounce balaclava (audio) , -ˈkla- How to pronounce balaclava (audio) \

Definition of balaclava

: a knit cap for the head and neck

called also balaclava helmet

Examples of balaclava in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Who was the kid in the custom balaclava, with an AK-47 and Saint Laurent bulletproof vest, pouring his heart out with stunning vibrato? Marcus Jones,, "RMR has it: The singer on Rascal Flatts, working with Timbaland, and staying anonymous," 15 May 2020 In February, Gucci issued an apology and pulled a wool balaclava jumper that retailed for $890 from its shelves after online critics accused the turtleneck of miming blackface. Katie Mettler, Washington Post, "Gucci’s straitjackets draw a model’s silent protest on the runway: ‘Mental health is not fashion’," 23 Sep. 2019 The cover features a garter-stitch balaclava paired with a Chernobyl-era military-grade gas mask. Alexandra Marvar, New York Times, "Knitting for the Apocalypse," 8 May 2020 Eilish posted a snap on Instagram of herself at the annual Reading and Leeds music festival, which took place this past weekend across the two respective British towns, in a Burberry trench coat with a matching balaclava. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Billie Eilish Reveals Her Most Radical Fashion Instagram Yet," 26 Aug. 2019 Security footage of the Jan. 9 robbery in Lopburi province, about 145 kilometers (90 miles) north of Bangkok, showed a man dressed in full-face balaclava and camouflage trousers approached the store in a mall, carrying a pistol with a long silencer. Washington Post, "School headmaster charged in fatal gold robbery in Thailand," 23 Jan. 2020 Their ascent comes amid calls for more inclusion in the entertainment and fashion industries after controversies including #oscarssowhite and Gucci’s 2019 release of a balaclava-style sweater that resembled blackface. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "The Rise of Black Stylists Behind the Grammys," 22 Jan. 2020 One showed a man posing with what appears to be an assault rifle wearing a camouflage helmet and a black balaclava. Feliz Solomon, WSJ, "Gunman in Thailand Shooting Rampage Killed by Security Forces After Standoff," 9 Feb. 2020 Ukraine’s far-right nationalists, meanwhile, prefer black balaclavas and torchlight rallies. Sophie Pinkham, The New Yorker, "The Playful Propaganda of “The History of Ukraine”," 4 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'balaclava.' 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 balaclava

1902, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for balaclava

Balaclava, Crimea, site of a British encampment during the Crimean War

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Time Traveler for balaclava

Time Traveler

The first known use of balaclava was in 1902

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Cite this Entry

“Balaclava.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for balaclava


How to pronounce balaclava (audio) How to pronounce balaclava (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of balaclava

: a warm hat that covers the head, neck, and most of the face

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