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or lava-lava

[lah-vuh-lah-vuh] /ˌlɑ vəˈlɑ və/
the principal garment for both sexes in Polynesia, especially in Samoa, consisting of a piece of printed cloth worn as a loincloth or skirt.
Also called pareu.
Origin of lavalava
1890-95; < Samoan: clothing Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for lava-lava
Historical Examples
  • He passed two or three natives clad in nothing but the lava-lava, with huge umbrellas over them.

    The Trembling of a Leaf William Somerset Maugham
  • As a rule he wore shabby ducks, but now he was barefoot and wore only the lava-lava of the natives.

    The Trembling of a Leaf William Somerset Maugham
  • The trader took a cigarette from a fold in his lava-lava and gave one to Dr Macphail.

    The Trembling of a Leaf William Somerset Maugham
  • The truth is that a lava-lava and a coating of oil are much the most healthy and practical costume in a tropical climate.

    Fifty-One Years of Victorian Life

    Margaret Elizabeth Leigh Child-Villiers, Countess of Jersey
  • He fell against the hammock and two large round ship's biscuits slipped from under his lava-lava.

  • All the men wore trousers, for the Church has decided that the lava-lava is indecent.

    The Trembling of a Leaf William Somerset Maugham
  • I am wearing only a lava-lava, and this faint sea-breeze blowing over me almost makes me forget the engines and their troubles.

  • Old Oti's pride had been touched, for he suddenly stripped down his lava-lava and showed me the unmistakable scar of a bullet.

    South Sea Tales Jack London
British Dictionary definitions for lava-lava


a draped skirtlike garment of printed cotton or calico worn by Polynesians
Word Origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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