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

  • n. The headscarf worn by Muslim women, sometimes including a veil that covers the face except for the eyes.
  • n. The institution of protection of women in some Islamic societies through veiling or seclusion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The veil worn by women beyond the age of puberty in front of non-related adult males.
  • n. The hajib headscarf.

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

  • n. the custom in some Islamic societies of women dressing modestly outside the home
  • n. a headscarf worn by Muslim women; conceals the hair and neck and usually has a face veil that covers the face


Arabic ḥijāb, curtain, veil, from ḥajaba, to cover; see ḥgb in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Arabic حجب (ħájaba, "to veil, to cover, to screen"). (Wiktionary)


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  • From p. 11 of Dave Eggers' "Zeitoun":

    "Kathy adjusted her hijab in the front window, tucking in stray hairs -- it was a nervous habit -- while watching Zeitoun leave the driveway in a swirling grey cloud."

    July 29, 2012

  • The face veil on its own is called a niqab.

    April 30, 2009