bal·​a·​cla·​va ˌba-lə-ˈklä-və How to pronounce balaclava (audio) -ˈkla- How to pronounce balaclava (audio)
: a knit cap for the head and neck

called also balaclava helmet

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Candy confection meets comfortable practicality with Clare V's take on the balaclava. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, 5 Jan. 2023 Always one to take up space on the carpet with the most architectural of looks, Rihanna arrived in a head-to-toe white outfit featuring what could be considered a large-scale balaclava covered in white camellia appliqués. Michelle Lee, Peoplemag, 2 May 2023 Iraqi army armored vehicles drive by, carrying faceless men, their identities hidden behind sunglasses and balaclavas. Nazih Osseiran, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 Mar. 2023 As a cold spell swept through Mumbai in January and people donned sweaters and balaclavas to keep warm, a dusty haze hung in the air, occasionally caking onto leaves and piling into mounds on street corners. WIRED, 8 Mar. 2023 The balaclava was popularized as most winter fashions are—on the slopes. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, 5 Jan. 2023 To finish the outfit off, hot glue cardboard ears to a headband or balaclava. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, 4 Oct. 2022 Seen on the runways at Miu Miu and The Row, these knit accessories have the warming benefits of a dickey (thanks to its neck and/or chest additions) and the coverage of a winter hat, without the hair static-inducing tightness of a beanie or the intensity of a full face balaclava. Madeline Fass, Vogue, 4 Jan. 2022 Eleven months later, an M&T branch in Kensington was robbed — this time by a man in a black balaclava, with a slender leather case hanging from his neck, possibly holding a police scanner, and a wire extending up to an earpiece. Washington Post, 25 Oct. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'balaclava.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1902, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of balaclava was in 1902

Dictionary Entries Near balaclava

Cite this Entry

“Balaclava.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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