[ bah-buh; French ba-ba ]

noun,plural ba·bas [bah-buhz; French ba-ba]. /ˈbɑ bəz; French baˈba/.
  1. a spongelike cake leavened with yeast and often containing raisins, baked in a small mold and then usually soaked with a rum syrup.

  2. Also Baba . (especially in Slavic or Eastern European cultures) an elderly woman or grandmother: In our house lived my parents, my baba—God rest her soul—my three siblings, and me.

Origin of baba

First recorded in 1820–30; from French, from Polish: literally, “old woman, peasant woman,” a nursery term of imitative origin (cf. babushka, mama ); the cake was introduced into France by the court of the exiled Polish king Stanislaus I

Words Nearby baba

Other definitions for baba (2 of 2)


or Ba·ba

[ bah-buh, bah-bah ]

nounIndian English.
  1. father (also used as a polite term of address for any older man): That's the second lesson my Baba taught me growing up—that consistent hard work is very important and always pays off.

  2. a male spiritual leader (also used as a title with the leader’s name): I devoured hundreds of religious books, including those by many Hindu babas and sadhus.She is a devout follower of Sai Baba, a spiritual leader known for his teachings of love, compassion, and selflessness.

  1. a baby or young child.

Origin of baba

First recorded in 1765–75; from Hindi, Urdu bābā “father, male elder,” a nursery term of imitative origin; cf. dad1, papa Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use baba in a sentence

  • In fact, except for Ramona's help, it would have been a question whether even Alessandro could have made baba work in harness.

    Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
  • Going back we had some long range shots with the 15-inch guns at batteries in rear of Achi baba.

  • The shells came from Asia and Achi baba:—in a fiery shower, they fell upon the lines of our front trenches.

  • We have men enough, and good men too, but we are short of pebbles for Goliath of Achi baba.

  • The upshot of the whole affair is that the enemy still hold a strong line of trenches between us and Achi baba.

British Dictionary definitions for baba


/ (ˈbɑːbɑː, French baba) /

  1. a small cake of leavened dough, sometimes mixed with currants and usually soaked in rum (rum baba)

Origin of baba

C19: from French, from Polish, literally: old woman

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