(chiefly Canada) A ski mask with holes for the eyes and, sometimes, the nose and mouth, which may be rolled up and worn like a toque or pulled over the face for greater protection.
Other Word Forms of Balaclava
Origin of Balaclava
From the city of Balaklava in the Crimea, in Turkish balıklava (“fishing ground”). During the Crimean War the British troops suffered of cold due to improper clothing. When the news spread in the home front after the Battle of Balaclava, the people began knitting warm clothing for the soldiers, including woollen caps to be worn under the helmet, which were named balaclavas by the troops.
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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