AskDefine | Define headscarf

Dictionary Definition

headscarf n : a kerchief worn over the head and tied under the chin

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A more or less square piece of material worn over the head by women, often to protect the hair, or for religious reasons.


a more or less square piece of material worn over the head by women

Extensive Definition

For other uses, see headgear.
Headscarves are scarves covering most or all of the top of a woman's hair and her head. Headscarves may be worn for a variety of purposes, such as fashion or social distinction, religious signifiance, modesty, or other forms of social convention.

Types of headscarves

Headscarves may have specific religious significance. Observant married Jewish women, for example, are required to cover their hair, often employing scarves (or sometimes wigs) for the purpose. Headscarves were also worn by married Christian women in Medieval Europe, and even among some of the unmarried. This headcovering habit is better known as a wimple in English.
Headscarves and veils used for Muslim religious dress include: Note that the Arabic word hijab refers to modest behaviour in general, and pertains to men and women, but it is sometimes used in other languages to describe the Muslim headscarf, also known as a khimar.
The Keffiyeh is commonly used by Muslim men.
Some English speakers use the word "babushka" (grandma in Russian) to indicate the headscarf tied below the chin, as commonly worn in Eastern Europe. In most parts of Eastern Europe, headscarves are used mainly by elderly women (grandmothers) and this led the incorrect use of the "babushka" term. In Russia they are worn by women when they go to church to show their convictions to Russian Orthodoxy.
A plain red or scarlet headscarf was worn by female commissars and other women aligning themselves with Bolshevism in times of Russian Revolution and civil war.
A head tie is a west and southern African women’s head scarf, specifically an elaborate ornamental head covering.

Pictures of headscarfs

Turkey wearing the Islamic village-style headscarfs commonly worn in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. Portuguese soccer fan wears a kerchief both as bandana and a expression of her club loyalty. Armenian woman in her traditional head-dress. Turkish village of Kars wearing non Islamic headscarfs. This style is common both in The Lebanon, the Kurdish regions, and parts of Russia. Adana (Turkey) wearing the niqab.

See also

headscarf in Danish: Tørklæde
headscarf in German: Kopftuch
headscarf in French: Foulard
headscarf in Finnish: Huivi
headscarf in Swedish: Huvudduk
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