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 Men dressed in camouflage suits and balaclavas – carrying realistic-looking dummy weapons – entered a school in Barczewo, a town about 140 miles north of Warsaw, on Nov. 14, while students were in class. Fox News, "Poland school principal staged fake active shooter situation, failed to let anyone else know: report," 7 Dec. 2019 Dressed head to toe in the black gear of Hong Kong’s frontline protesters, his arms covered with protective pads and his face obscured under a balaclava, Mr. Chan stood with a large handwritten sign held above his head. Mary Hui, Quartz, "What the Hong Kong protests can teach the world about enduring social movements," 19 Nov. 2019 It was expanded earlier this year to include external outreach after the controversy over a black wool balaclava sweater that evoked racist imagery of blackface. NBC News, "Gucci launches diversity scholarship program for American students," 10 Oct. 2019 That’s surprising to hear given the fact the iconic DC Comics super-assassin’s presence is felt from the show’s very first scene, which features a shot of Slade’s black and orange balaclava propped up on a stick with an arrow through the eye hole. Chancellor Agard,, "Arrow producer recalls the happy accident that led to Deathstroke's debut," 14 Oct. 2019 It was expanded earlier this year to include external outreach after the controversy over a black wool balaclava sweater that evoked racist imagery of blackface. Colleen Barry, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Gucci launches diversity US scholarship program," 7 Oct. 2019 At some point, the balaclava covering my face slipped out of place, exposing an inch of skin. Neil Shea, National Geographic, "A thawing Arctic is heating up a new Cold War," 21 Aug. 2019 Even when tear gas is not employed, many protesters wear masks and balaclavas to conceal their identities. Yanan Wang, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why Hong Kong protests ebb and flow, like water," 5 Aug. 2019 The French producer wears a balaclava, more commonly known as a ski mask, to hide his identity. Kat Bein, Billboard, "11 DJs Who Wear Masks and the Stories Behind Them," 29 July 2019

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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Statistics for balaclava

Last Updated

10 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Balaclava.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with balaclava

Spanish Central: Translation of balaclava

Comments on balaclava

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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