Definition of yarmulke in US English:


(also yarmulka)


  • A skullcap worn in public by Orthodox Jewish men or during prayer by other Jewish men.

    • ‘Our seats were next to a pair of bearded gentlemen wearing yarmulkes - Orthodox Jews, by my measure.’
    • ‘One could also make a similar argument about religious garb, whether a yarmulke or full dress.’
    • ‘For example a person can be identified as Jewish by his yarmulke.’
    • ‘It is difficult for us to see any reason why a Jew may not wear his yarmulke in court, a Sikh his turban, a Muslim woman her chador, or a Moor his fez.’
    • ‘A Jewish student wearing a yarmulke at Yale University is attacked by a Palestinian in his dormitory.’
    • ‘Since I arrived here my yarmulka got smaller, my clothing changed, my attitude towards tradition started plunging.’
    • ‘Equally brilliant was his appearance in a yarmulke at the Wailing Wall.’
    • ‘One couple wore yarmulkes and carried a siddur; another couple looked like ordained ministers, but I didn't know for sure of which Christian denomination.’
    • ‘Stuart did not strike him as being a religious man and so Rabbi Wade was surprised one day to see Stuart wearing a yarmulke (skullcap).’
    • ‘Male Orthodox Jews wear yarmulkas (or, in Hebrew, a ‘kippah’) to show deference to God above us.’
    • ‘If someone did make say something anti-Semitic, would I take the yarmulka off and walk around in a baseball hat the rest of my life?’
    • ‘It is this principle that France is breaking when it forbids the wearing of headscarves by Muslim girls and of yarmulkes by Jewish boys in schools.’
    • ‘The Chief Rabbi of France, Joseph Sitruk, has now suggested that Jews wear baseball caps instead of yarmulkes in public.’
    • ‘The ban will likely include large Christian crosses, Jewish yarmulkes, Muslim hijabs and turbans worn by Sikhs.’
    • ‘The most common hat for men in the synagogue is a small round cap called a yarmulke or a kippah, but an ordinary homburg or street hat will be accepted.’
    • ‘Then he wears one of those tight-fitting stocking hats, which is a mix of the Muslim taj, the Jewish yarmulka and black unemployed headgear.’
    • ‘At some point, I decided to constantly wear a yarmulke (skullcap).’
    • ‘He even notes that Reform Jews are again emphasizing Hebrew, wearing yarmulkes, and keeping kosher.’
    • ‘A Jewish student with a yarmulke stood up to proclaim, ‘We are all God's children.’’
    • ‘The crowd, some wearing yarmulkes and prayer shawls, jumped to their feet cheering the hardline Israeli leader, waving Israeli flags and shouting ‘Amen.’’


Early 20th century: from Yiddish yarmolke.