kha·​ki | \ ˈka-kē How to pronounce khaki (audio) , ˈkä- How to pronounce khaki (audio) , Canadian often ˈkär- \

Definition of khaki

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a light yellowish-brown cloth made usually of cotton or wool a uniform made of khaki
b : a garment (such as a military uniform or a pair of pants) made of this cloth usually pluralHis hair was brushed back and his service khakis pressed. The two officers went aft to the helicopter pad …— Tom ClancyTraditionally, loafers are strictly casual. You wear them with khakis to the bar or on casual Fridays.GQ
2 : a light yellowish-brown



Definition of khaki (Entry 2 of 2)

: of the color khaki : having a light, yellowish-brown color used especially of clothkhaki pants

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Did You Know?

In the mid-19th century, units of the British Indian Army applied the Hindi word khāki, “dust-colored, brown,” to the color of a uniform cloth. Dull brown uniforms were preferred because they did not show dirt, but the major reason that all colonial units of the British Army eventually adopted them was because they made excellent camouflage. Today we typically associate khaki with fashionable casualness and a summery look rather than British military uniforms

Examples of khaki in a Sentence

Noun a military uniform made of khaki
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Wolverines football coach loves his khaki pants and is wonderfully famous for wearing them all the time. Michelle R. Martinelli, USA TODAY, "Harbaugh jumps off Michigan's diving platform in khakis," 30 Sep. 2017 The carbon fiber panels, painted in a khaki yellow, including the hood, fenders, bumpers, deck lid, deep chin spoiler, quarter extensions and valence, were all made by SpeedKore. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Boss' car for actor Robert Downey Jr. was customized by SpeedKore Performance Group," 1 Nov. 2017 Boyes was able to get his hands on khaki pants and a dark green or gray zip-up jacket, and walked out of the South Central Regional Jail in Charleston, West Virginia, just before 6 a.m. Wednesday. Kwegyirba Croffie And Dakin Andone, CNN, "West Virginia inmate who escaped in disguise is captured in Texas," 29 Oct. 2017 During the hearing Thursday, Boys wore an orange jumpsuit and sat to the right of the judge as two deputies in black polo shirts and khaki pants stood nearby, watching him with crossed arms. Emily Lane,, "Accused cop killer who 'ate' feces ruled incompetent to stand trial," 19 Oct. 2017 The flames in the campfire are leaping, and so are the figures around it, in flowing khaki robes emblazoned with various pronouns. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "Gender-Fluid Scouts of America," 16 Oct. 2017 The lenses were trained on a low-lying mountain ridge in the distance, blue in the dying light, where plumes of khaki smoke floated upward from multiple spot fires. Laura Nelson,, "Sonoma resident uses telescope to inspect house in fire ravaged area," 14 Oct. 2017 Before being caught in Wauwatosa, Farber was last seen on foot in Juneau and was wearing khaki pants, a green shirt, and orange Croc-type shoes. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dodge County fugitive caught in Wauwatosa," 13 Oct. 2017 So school administrators did: All students must wear black, navy, or khaki bottoms and white or light-blue shirts., "At this South Philly school, keeping LGBTQ kids safe is front and center," 22 Sep. 2017

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


1857, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1856, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for khaki


Hindi & Urdu khākī dust-colored, from khāk dust, from Persian

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Time Traveler for khaki

Time Traveler

The first known use of khaki was in 1856

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Statistics for khaki

Last Updated

3 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Khaki.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for khaki


How to pronounce khaki (audio) How to pronounce khaki (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of khaki

: a yellowish-brown cloth
: pants made of khaki
: a yellowish-brown color


kha·​ki | \ ˈka-kē How to pronounce khaki (audio) , ˈkä- \

Kids Definition of khaki

1 : a light yellowish brown cloth used especially for military uniforms
2 khakis plural : a pair of pants made of khaki
3 : a light yellowish brown

More from Merriam-Webster on khaki

Nglish: Translation of khaki for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about khaki

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