Definition of kebaya in US English:



  • A light, loose tunic worn by women in Malaysia, Indonesia, and other Southeast Asian countries.

    • ‘If there is a dress that is "banal" in Indonesia, it is the kebaya, indeed.’
    • ‘He finds the kebaya a very sexy apparel.’
    • ‘Women wear the sarong, kebaya (long-sleeved blouse), and selendang (sash over the shoulder).’
    • ‘While many other designers turned to the west for their influences, Edward stayed true to the kebaya, but revived for modern times.’
    • ‘Their children wore the same white-and-red kebaya traditional dress and suit as the President and Vice President.’
    • ‘After flowers, she now works on the theme of the kebaya, this symbol par excellence of the Indonesian woman, and of "femininity" in Indonesia.’
    • ‘In case you're wondering, a "kebaya" is a traditional Malay dress.’
    • ‘Megawati wore a white "kebaya," a traditional Javanese costume for women, and a violet scarf when she was taking the oath.’
    • ‘A recent honor was an assignment to design a kebaya for Datin Seri Endon Mahmood Badawi, wife of Malaysia's deputy prime minister.’
    • ‘As the pencil thin model draped in a body hugging kebaya walked in, the audience let out a collective cry.’
    • ‘A married woman may often wear a baju kebaya, a close-fitting lace blouse over an ankle-length skirt.’
    • ‘This season some of his kebaya have done away with the traditional front opening and are criss-crossed at the back in corset style.’
    • ‘Pretty kebaya (traditional Javanese dress), tiny wooden boxes, wooden tables and some paintings are among the items offered here.’
    • ‘For temple ceremonies, women wear a sabuk belt wrapped around the body up to the armpits, with a kebaya jacket over it.’
    • ‘Women wear sarongs on formal occasions, along with the kebaya, a tight, low-cut, long-sleeved blouse.’
    • ‘The kebaya thus turns into an exploratory tool for women, leading to a greater awareness of their living conditions and thus to a greater liberty.’
    • ‘Men also wear a sarung, but instead of a kebaya, they wear a long-sleeved batik shirt or a fitted, embroidered jacket.’
    • ‘Women in red kebaya and matching batik cloth then ushered the guests to another room, a perfectly lit one where supper was served as a buffet.’
    • ‘The kebaya is a long-sleeved, fitted lace blouse that is worn over another layer of clothing.’
    • ‘When putting these kebaya on, women discuss their bodies, their sex-appeal, shyness, their wish to please or their need to cover themselves up.’


Malay, ultimately of Persian or Arabic origin.