Definition of lava-lava in English:



  • A garment which resembles a wraparound skirt, worn by both sexes in Samoa and some other Pacific islands.

    ‘a lava-lava and sandals is the best thing to wear in July’
    • ‘When I'm not in the production rooms, most of the time I'm wearing a beige shirt, a brown suit jacket with the TWR logo prominently on the front and a plain brown lavalava of similar material.’
    • ‘The women, adorned in colourful skirts and paints, offered their fine, hand-woven lavalava skirts.’
    • ‘I sat in the corner in my borrowed lavalava, folding my legs under me so that the soles of my bare feet were respectfully pointed away from our hosts.’
    • ‘We had everything from bleached surfer dudes to Tongan gentlemen wearing the traditional lava lava.’
    • ‘Lavalavas or nothing seems to be the only way to feel comfortable while this humidity continues.’
    • ‘Even important village leaders who work in the city may choose to wear a formal lavalava, a sport shirt, and a wide leather belt around the waist.’
    • ‘The women of these islands still wear the woven lava-lavas.’
    • ‘While Samoans prefer colorful floral designs in both their lavalava and tops, darker colors are preferred on formal occasions.’


Late 19th century: Samoan.