ni·​qab | \ ni-ˈkäb How to pronounce niqab (audio) \
variants: or less commonly niqaab

Definition of niqab

: a veil for covering the hair and face except for the eyes that is worn by some Muslim women

Examples of niqab in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The women are nearly impossible to identify due to the niqab, and switch from tent to tent to avoid capture. Arwa Damon And Tamara Qiblawi, CNN, "A forgotten camp in Syria could be the birthplace of ISIS' revenge generation," 12 Sep. 2019 One party advertisement depicted a white woman trying to collect benefits while being pursued by niqab-wearing immigrants pushing strollers. Jo Becker, New York Times, "The Global Machine Behind the Rise of Far-Right Nationalism," 10 Aug. 2019 Finally, some say that the burqa and the niqab, a similar Muslim face covering, are tools of male oppression, and that banning such Islamic garb promotes gender equality (albeit at the expense of liberty). The Economist, "Burqa bans have proliferated in Western Europe," 9 Aug. 2019 There have been reports that terrorists have been using niqab to disguise themselves, TAP said. Michelle Lou, CNN, "Tunisia bans full-face coverings in public institutions after twin bombings," 5 July 2019 Critics argue that portion of the law targets the tiny minority of Quebecers who wear the face-covering niqab or burqa. Kim Mackrael, WSJ, "Quebec Bans Public-Sector Employees From Wearing Religious Garb," 17 June 2019 Other garments include the niqab, where a face-covering allows the eyes to be seen; the chador, which leaves the face uncovered; and the hijab, or head scarf. Charlotte Allen, WSJ, "Religious Freedom and the Burqa," 23 Aug. 2018 The increased prominence of niqabs has not been limited to schools. Joe Cochrane, New York Times, "Ban on Face Veils at Indonesian University Lasted Just a Week," 19 Mar. 2018 Amy Roko, a social-media sensation in Saudi Arabia, says that wearing her niqab veil has liberated her comedy. Don Steinberg, WSJ, "The Rules of Comedy in Iraq," 13 Feb. 2019

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

1936, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for niqab

Arabic niqāb

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2019

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The first known use of niqab was in 1936

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


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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