from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A loose, usually black robe worn by Muslim women, especially in Arabic-speaking regions, covering the body from head to toe and often worn with a headscarf and veil.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Arabic) a loose black robe from head to toe; traditionally worn by Muslim women


Colloquial Arabic 'abāya, from Arabic 'abā'a, variant of 'abā', aba.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Arabic عباية. (Wiktionary)


  • A small minority of Muslim women in certain parts of the world wear what is known as the abaya (black cloak) and the niqab (face veil).

    Kari Ansari: Telling Muslim Women What Not To Wear

  • Pinned to the abaya was a message that read, “She was a collaborator against Islam.”

    Alas, a blog » 2006 » July

  • State Department guidelines note, for example, that the religious police can "pressure women to wear" the full-length black covering known as an abaya, "and to cover their heads."

    NYT > Home Page

  • The abaya is a long over-garment essentially a robe-like dress with black as the most predominant color among Muslim women. Main RSS Feed

  • While the women have to wear a long, black cloak known as abaya in public, they are often in resplendent gowns at elaborate high-society functions and weddings. Top Stories

  • " in which a man disguised as a women – i.e., dressed in a traditional black, full-body covering called the abaya – stalks women and enters their homes."

    Middle Eastern Women Directors Use Films as Social Commentary

  • The man held up an 'abaya', a black cloak-like garment some females choose to wear, and pointed at the shivering girl.


  • At the end of the so-called glorious July war between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006, a woman desperate in meeting her lord almighty contacted and begged his fellow servants to be given the "abaya" worn by Sayed Hassan Nasrallah.

    The Ouwet Front: A Lebanese Forces Blog

  • Saunders said her cultural experiences were varied - she was advised by hotel staff not to walk to a nearby ATM, even though wearing the women's traditional "abaya" robe because she was alone.

  • The abaya policy in Saudi Arabia and the wearing of the Muslim headscarf in a war zone in Afghanistan are cut from this same flawed thinking.

    Why American troops in Afghanistan shouldn't have to wear headscarves

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