bur·​ka | \ ˈbu̇r-kə How to pronounce burka (audio) \
variants: or

Definition of burka

: a loose enveloping garment that covers the face and body and is worn in public by certain Muslim women

Examples of burka in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In 2001, Carolyn Maloney, then Congresswoman from New York, made a show of putting on a burka on the floor of the House of Representatives. Rafia Zakaria, The New Republic, "The Feminist Future of Modesty," 12 June 2018 The point of her pantomime seemed to be that even getting bombed was better than being hidden under a burka. Rafia Zakaria, The New Republic, "The Feminist Future of Modesty," 12 June 2018 The Afghan man with the long beard, white turban, and worn farmer’s hands led his wife, draped all in a flowing dark blue burka, into a small office booth in Kabul. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, "The ICRC's precious gift to Afghan families: contact with jailed loved-ones," 29 Mar. 2018 But, there was also enough bad news: Austria has started enforcing its ban on burka's and niqab's. Mary Wang, Vogue, "Austria Just Enforced Burka Ban, and Other News Women Need To Know This Week," 1 Oct. 2017 The niqab and burka are not mentioned in the legislation, according to CBC. Madison Park, CNN, "Quebec bars people with face coverings from getting public services," 19 Oct. 2017 It's been reported that a Muslim woman entered the pool in a burka later on July 21. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Muslim Woman Kicked Out of Pool and Fined for Wearing a Burkini in France," 8 Aug. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of burka

1836, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for burka

Urdu, Persian & Arabic; Urdu burqaʽ, from Persian burqaʽ, burquʽ, from Arabic burquʽ

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about burka

Dictionary Entries near burka

buri palm

buri straw

buriti palm





Statistics for burka

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for burka

The first known use of burka was in 1836

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for burka



English Language Learners Definition of burka

: a long piece of clothing that covers the face and body and that is worn by some Muslim women in public places

More from Merriam-Webster on burka

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with burka

Comments on burka

What made you want to look up burka? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to corrupt or become corrupted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!