or yar·mel·ke, yar·mul·ka

[yahr-muh l-kuh, -muh-, yah-]
noun Judaism.
  1. a skullcap worn, especially during prayer and religious study, by Jewish males, especially those adhering to Orthodox or Conservative tradition.

Origin of yarmulke

1940–45; < Yiddish yarmlke < Polish jarmułka (earlier jałmurka, jamułka) or Ukrainian yarmúlka < Turkic; compare Turkish yağmurluk rain apparel, equivalent to yağmur rain + -luk noun suffix of appurtenance
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for yarmulke

Contemporary Examples of yarmulke

  • If they were meaningful, we might have realized it before—surely one of these kids wore a cross, or a yarmulke, or a hijab?

    The Daily Beast logo
    Harry Potter and the Torah of Terror

    Candida Moss, Joel Baden

    January 4, 2015

  • An older bro wore a red bow tie and a yarmulke emblazoned with the “TEAM MITCH” logo as he stared down at his smartphone intently.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Mitch’s Brotastic Victory Bash

    Olivia Nuzzi

    November 5, 2014

  • A psychiatric resident came in to speak with Dianne and the husband saw he was wearing a yarmulke.

  • Later, in French, he explains that he prefers to keep his yarmulke hidden.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Last Jews of Tunisia

    Paul Rosenfeld, Noah Rayman

    March 25, 2013

  • A kippa is a headcovering, a yarmulke, which in my case covers a bald dome.

    The Daily Beast logo
    New Words For A New War

    Gil Troy

    November 19, 2012

British Dictionary definitions for yarmulke


  1. Judaism a skullcap worn by orthodox male Jews at all times, and by others during prayer

Word Origin for yarmulke

from Yiddish, from Ukrainian and Polish yarmulka cap, probably from Turkish yaǧmurluk raincoat, from yaǧmur rain
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

Word Origin and History for yarmulke

1903, from Yiddish yarmulke, from Polish jarmułka, originally "a skullcap worn by priests," perhaps ultimately from Medieval Latin almutia "cowl, hood."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

yarmulke in Culture


[(yah-muh-kuh, yahr-muhl-kuh)]

In Orthodox Judaism and Conservative Judaism, a skullcap worn by men as a sign of reverence while praying to God or talking about him.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.