or la·va-la·va

[ lah-vuh-lah-vuh ]
See synonyms for lavalava on
  1. the principal garment in Polynesia, especially in Samoa, consisting of a piece of printed cloth worn as a loincloth or skirt.

Origin of lavalava

First recorded in 1890–95; from Samoan: “clothing” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use lavalava in a sentence

  • From the fact that each was attired in a new, snow-white lava-lava, Sheldon knew that they were recruits.

    Adventure | Jack London
  • 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.

  • He lived in a grass house, ate native goods, wore no other clothing than the native lava-lava.

  • 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


  1. a draped skirtlike garment of printed cotton or calico worn by Polynesians

Origin of lava-lava


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