Definition of turban in US English:



  • 1A man's headdress, consisting of a long length of cotton or silk wound around a cap or the head, worn especially by Muslims and Sikhs.

    • ‘Many Arabs wear traditional Muslim dress, which for men is a turban or other headdress and long robes, and for women is a long robe that covers the head and the entire body.’
    • ‘It is difficult for us to see any reason why a Jew may not wear his yarmulke in court or a Sikh his turban.’
    • ‘Shan men and women often wear large turbans wrapped from long lengths of cotton or bright terrycloth towels.’
    • ‘Local men wore turbans, and shalwar kameez with wool vests or sweaters.’
    • ‘Brightly coloured saris on graceful Indian women and striking turbans on erect Sikhs are not unfamiliar sights in our metropolitan areas or small college towns.’
    • ‘Gone are cotton loincloths and turbans in favor of microfiber stretch workout togs that wick perspiration away from the body.’
    • ‘He put the robe over his plaid shirt and jeans, wrapped the turban up, and pulled the fluttering silk scarf over his brown beard.’
    • ‘The different Sufi orders were characterized by the style of their turbans and the folds of their gowns.’
    1. 1.1 A woman's hat designed to resemble a turban.
  • 2A marine mollusk with a sculptured spiral shell and a distinctive operculum which is smooth on the inside and sculptured and typically patterned on the outside.

    Family Turbinidae, class Gastropoda: Turbo and other genera

    • ‘Organ pipe coral is removed for its medicinal value, while the top shell and turban shell go to make buttons.’
    • ‘In 1954, Yawata and 10 other fishermen in Kumi went to the islands on board a ship surrounded by five Japanese patrol boats, landed on the islands, and caught turban and ear shells.’


Mid 16th century: via French from Turkish tülbent, from Persian dulband. Compare with tulip.