Part of speech: noun
Origin: Turkish, mid-19th century
A close-fitting garment covering the whole head and neck except for parts of the face, typically made of wool.
Examples of Balaclava in a sentence
"It was too cold to wear just a hat, so he pulled out his balaclava."
"Adding a balaclava under his ski helmet made it fit perfectly."
Popularity Over Time
They're not just for bank robbers — the balaclava is popular in cold climates and in certain sports. This close-fitting hat covers the whole head, neck and parts of the face, usually leaving only the eyes bare.
Did you Know?
This winter weather accessory came about because the British troops suffered in the cold during the Crimean War. Kind folks back home heard about their plight and started knitting. The special hat made to be worn under the helmet came to be called the balaclava, after the city of Balaklava in the Crimea.