Bab el Mandeb

[ bahb el -mahn-deb ]
/ ˌbɑb ɛl ˈmɑn dɛb /


a strait between the Eritrea-Djibouti border area on the Horn of Africa and the southwestern tip of Yemen, connecting the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. About 20 mi. (32 km) wide.



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Also called Man·deb Strait [mahn-deb streyt] /ˈmɑn dɛb ˈstreɪt/ .

Origin of Bab el Mandeb

First recorded in 1790–95; from Arabic: literally, “Gate of Tears” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for Bab el Mandeb

  • (a) It is “a phonetic corruption, perhaps a softening of the original word”; as Bab-el-mandel is a corruption of Bab-el-mandeb.

  • The affair with the Bab-el-Mandeb squadron lasted only about two hours and a-half.

    Freeland|Theodor Hertzka
  • It lies in the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, and has proved the destruction of more than one fine vessel.

  • Gate of Tears, the strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, so called from the shipwrecks frequent in it.

    The Nuttall Encyclopaedia|Edited by Rev. James Wood

British Dictionary definitions for Bab el Mandeb

Bab el Mandeb
/ (ˈbæb ɛl ˈmændɛb) /


a strait between SW Arabia and E Africa, connecting the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden
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