Definition of halvah in US English:


(also halva)


  • A Middle Eastern confection made of sesame flour and honey.

    • ‘The results run from simple brittle and toffee type sweets through halva, barfi, and sandesh, to the family of confections based on rasgullas.’
    • ‘A favorite Palestinian candy is halvah, a sweet nougat made of sesame seeds and honey.’
    • ‘The big draw for me, though, is the cooler along the south wall, which is jammed with Greek olives, cheese, anchovies, halvah and other specialties, including hummus, tarama and Balkan-style yogurt.’
    • ‘For dessert, there were several traditional Iranian sweets, such as sholehzard (rice and saffron pudding) and halva.’
    • ‘Finally, ‘sweetmeats’ like halva and burfi can often round off a festive meal.’


Yiddish, or from Turkish helva, from Arabic and Persian ḥalwā ‘sweetmeat’.