hi·​jab hē-ˈjäb How to pronounce hijab (audio)
plural hijabs : a covering for the hair and neck that is worn by some Muslim women
The website offers Muslim women an array of hijabs for every occasion—including sports—without skimping on quality, comfort, or modest principles.Sara Holzman
While Muslim women wear hijabs to show modesty and piety, every woman has her own reason for wearing a hijab, but Mohammad Zal said many people mistake these reasons for coercion.Christine Fernando
… women are burning their headscarves in the street. … They don't object to the hijab itself; they object to not having the right to choose whether to wear it.Roya Hakakian
… as part of a controversial decade-long effort to curb the public expression of religion, the French Senate voted 160-143 Tuesday in favor of a bill seeking to amend its national Sports Code to ban athletes from wearing religious symbols, such as hijabs … at sports competitions, public swimming pools, and bathing areas.Ananya Upadhya
The dispute began … at a college preparatory school for girls in Udupi, a city in southwestern Karnataka, when teachers there barred several Muslim students from entering their classrooms while wearing hijabs.Sameer Yasir
: a set of principles and practices in Islam relating to modesty and morality and especially to covering oneself (as by wearing a hijab)
"… hijab is not just about outer appearances; it is also about noble speech, dignified and righteous conduct, and modesty. …"brochure, quoted in The Houston Chronicle
"Since a majority of my clients are Muslim, some will be observing hijab, which is a religious observance, usually interpreted by wearing a headscarf and dressing modestly. …"Fatin Jarara
Farooqi and others are dressed in classic American volunteer attire—yellow T-shirts emblazoned with a logo—but the men also wear … skullcaps and the women observe hijab, covering their hair and necks with scarves.Harry Bruinius

Examples of hijab in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Fleeing from my grandmother, who rushed after him with butcher knives not yet wiped clean of pigeon meat, the untucked bits of her hijab licking the air behind her like a shadow. Athena Nassar, The Atlantic, 1 Oct. 2023 Amini had been arrested for improperly wearing the mandatory hijab or headscarf. ABC News, 24 Sep. 2023 Some women are choosing to go without the headscarf, or hijab, despite an increasing crackdown by authorities. Nasser Karimi and Jon Gambrell, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Sep. 2023 The uprising was sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the morality police, who had detained her on allegations of violating the mandatory hijab law. Farnaz Fassihi, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Aug. 2023 Laws require all women to at least wear a headscarf, or hijab, to cover their hair as a sign of piety. Jon Gambrell and Mike Corder, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 Oct. 2023 Those who collude with foreign media and governments to promote nudity, improper hijab, or improper dress, face up to 10 years in prison, the new bill adds. Tara Subramaniam, CNN, 21 Sep. 2023 Her open challenge to the mandatory hijab rule in place in Iran for the last 40 years did not go unnoticed. Somayeh Malekian, ABC News, 19 Sep. 2023 She was detained for allegedly violating Iran’s strict dress code for women, which includes a mandatory hijab, or headscarf. Miriam Berger, Washington Post, 15 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Arabic ḥijāb cover, screen, veil

First Known Use

1885, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of hijab was in 1885

Dictionary Entries Near hijab

Cite this Entry

“Hijab.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hijab. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

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