Definition of burka in English:


(also burqa, burkha)

Pronunciation /ˈbʊrkɑː//ˈbəːkə/


  • A long, loose garment covering the whole body from head to feet, worn in public by women in many Muslim countries.

    • ‘In the sense of attire, purdah can denote the practice of completely covering a woman's body by wearing a loose, body-covering robe called the burqa.’
    • ‘For example, under the influence of Islamic fundamentalism, women are required to wear full body coverings, such as chadors and burqas.’
    • ‘The first element is the requirement that women wear the burqa - a head-to-toe garment that allows vision only through a mesh screen.’
    • ‘Covered from head to foot in a burka - a traditional Muslim garment - I crossed the border and stepped onto the road to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.’
    • ‘Two assailants covered in burqas the all-encompassing garment worn by women in some Islamic countries tossed a grenade into the middle of worshippers at a Christmas service on Wednesday.’
    • ‘Head scarves and burkhas are worn as are turbans, crucifixes and sandalwood on the forehead, while a secular curriculum is followed by all without protest with the one intention of doing well in the all-important examinations.’
    • ‘According to their interpretations, Muslim women must always wear the burqa in public.’
    • ‘But, Katz claims to be the international super spy who donned a burkha and penetrated Muslim groups - the Virginia raids were her handiwork.’
    • ‘Women shrouded in chadors or burqas, bearded men carrying grenade launchers, bombs and mosques - these are the images we receive from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan and almost everywhere in between.’
    • ‘My own preference is a long black dress and a white headscarf - I have never worn a burqa in my life.’
    • ‘And ever more women are trading their burqas, the head-to-toe garment worn in public, for an Iranian-style shawl, or chador, which covers the hair and body but not the face.’
    • ‘Orthodox Muslim women cover themselves from head to foot in the tent-like burqa, the long garment that covers them from head to toe.’
    • ‘I think I shall write to the Co-op and ask them if they will also be banning Muslim women in burkas, the nuns from the local convent and old Mrs Kelly who is sometimes wearing a black veil after attending the Stations of the Cross at St Judes.’
    • ‘The fundamentalist regime also forced women to wear the burqa, a loose garment which covered the figure from head to toe with veiled eye holes, outdoors.’
    • ‘Hindu women wear the sari, while their Muslim counterparts wear the burqa in public, a long black or white garment that covers them from head to foot and has a veil.’
    • ‘Most women continue to wear the burqa, the voluminous garment that covers them from head to toe, which many non-Islamic women around the world view as a symbol of oppression.’
    • ‘Many women were still not ready to abandon the all-enveloping burka - a traditional garment made mandatory by the Taliban.’


From Urdu and Persian burqa‘, from Arabic burqu‘.