Definition of kaffiyeh in English:


(also keffiyeh)


  • A Bedouin Arab's kerchief worn as a headdress.

    • ‘Most of the resistance fighters were peasants who traditionally wore kaffiyehs and lived in the mountains or small villages.’
    • ‘He was all dressed up, wearing a suit and a kaffiyeh, he looked really respectable.’
    • ‘The bag pictures Arafat in his trademark kaffiyeh and uniform.’
    • ‘The black cord that holds the kaffiyeh on one's head is called an ekal.’
    • ‘The 51-year-old wore a white kaffiyeh and a white robe with square-rimmed glasses and a salt-and-pepper beard.’
    • ‘One boy had his keffiyeh confiscated and I saw at least two boys arrested and handcuffed.’
    • ‘A photographer wearing a kaffiyeh came and photographed them.’
    • ‘Old Arab men wearing keffiyehs swayed on their canes as they talked to their Jewish friends inside the kibbutz grounds.’
    • ‘The keffiyeh is best known in the West as the head covering of choice of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.’
    • ‘The agal is a length of cord which is used to bind the kaffiyeh to the head, usually several loops secure it.’
    • ‘At the head of the tomb is a photograph of Arafat with a kaffiyeh draped over it.’
    • ‘Nor does it matter whether he wears an army uniform, a three-piece suit or a kaffiyeh.’
    • ‘His trademark Palestinian headdress, the keffiyeh, which he adopted in 1956 as a radical student, made him immediately identifiable and became part of the myths he wove about his life.’
    • ‘I see an old man in a red kaffiyeh lying against the back wall.’
    • ‘Other journalists favor small sedans and camouflage themselves with kaffiyehs as they drive the streets.’
    • ‘The boys gathered around me, and the labourers removed their keffiyehs from their faces to talk.’
    • ‘After all, people's anxiety about the kaffiyeh derives from politics, not from its aesthetic merits.’
    • ‘But they don't wear keffiyehs, and don't traditionally view fresh water as wealth.’
    • ‘In Jordan, Queen Rania wore a kaffiyeh and headed an official march.’
    • ‘The black and white kaffiyeh is often associated with Fatah; the red and white with Hamas.’


Early 19th century: from Arabic keffiyya, kūfiyya.