Definition of balaclava in English:


Line breaks: bala|clava
Pronunciation: /ˌbaləˈklɑːvə
(also balaclava helmet)


chiefly British
  • A close-fitting garment covering the whole head and neck except for parts of the face, typically made of wool.
    More example sentences
    • They were all wearing balaclavas, dark close-fitting clothes and short bomber-style jackets.
    • The man with the gun, clad from head to toe in black clothing and wearing a balaclava underneath the hood of his coat, asked for money.
    • I suppose it could have been some sort of hat rather than a balaclava.


late 19th century (worn originally by soldiers on active service in the Crimean War): named after the port of Balaclava in the Crimea (see Balaclava, Battle of).

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