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kha·​ki ˈka-kē How to pronounce khaki (audio) ˈkä- How to pronounce khaki (audio)
 Canadian often  ˈkär-
: a light yellowish-brown cloth made usually of cotton or wool
a uniform made of khaki
: a garment (such as a military uniform or a pair of pants) made of this cloth
usually plural
His 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
: a light yellowish-brown


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

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

Example Sentences

Noun a military uniform made of khaki
Recent Examples on the Web
The go-to chinos brand made some major upgrades to their quality khaki pants with Smart Flex 360 technology that allows for comfortable 4-way stretch. Christian Gollayan, Men's Health, 16 Nov. 2022 Cellphone videos shown on NHK, the public broadcaster, showed the man in the gray shirt and khaki trousers, later identified as Mr. Yamagami, taking aim at Mr. Abe and firing, smoke billowing out from his gun. New York Times, 8 July 2022 Cellphone videos shown on NHK, the public broadcaster, showed a man in the gray shirt and khaki trousers, later identified as Yamagami, taking aim at Abe and firing, smoke billowing out from his weapon., 8 July 2022 The Montgomery Police Department is asking for help finding 10-year-old Derrion Jordan who was last seen wearing a red shirt and khaki on Saturday afternoon. al, 8 May 2022 It should be noted, apropros of perhaps nothing, that Ken is wearing a pink polo shirt and khaki trousers while pointing said gun. Brianna Provenzano,, 30 June 2020 The pants come in 14 colors, including wardrobe staples like black, navy, and khaki that'll be easy to match with anything in your suitcase. Madeline Diamond, Travel + Leisure, 2 Mar. 2023 In 2013, the Splash Lab (then at Brigham Young University) offered a few handy tips on how men could avoid staining their khaki pants with urine splashback while relieving themselves in restrooms. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 28 Nov. 2022 The sheriff’s uniform shirt is a frontiersman-khaki color. Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2021
Tamsin Johnson Interiors opted for a black marble backsplash and a khaki-toned paint color to embrace the mood and physical constraints of the room. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 24 Feb. 2023 While Jenner sported leather pants, black boots and a gray oversized jacket for the outing at Wally's in Beverly Hills, the Puerto Rican singer donned cream pants, a brown jacket and a khaki-colored hat. Kirsty Hatcher, Peoplemag, 20 Feb. 2023 Off-Duty Essentials For effortless style for any day of the week, throw a khaki-colored trench atop easy staples like a white button-up shirt and head out. Madeline Fass, Vogue, 16 Feb. 2023 See More

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.

Word History



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

First Known Use


1857, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1856, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of khaki was in 1856

Dictionary Entries Near khaki

Cite this Entry

“Khaki.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


kha·​ki ˈkak-ē How to pronounce khaki (audio) ˈkäk- How to pronounce khaki (audio)
: a light yellowish brown
: a light yellowish brown cloth often used for military uniforms
: a garment made of this cloth (as a military uniform)


from Hindi khākī "dust-colored," from khāk "dust"; of Persian origin

More from Merriam-Webster on khaki

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