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[bah-buh; French ba-ba] /ˈbɑ bə; French baˈba/
noun, plural babas
[bah-buh z; French ba-ba] /ˈbɑ bəz; French baˈba/ (Show IPA)
a spongelike cake leavened with yeast and often containing raisins, baked in a small mold and then usually soaked with a rum syrup.
Origin of baba
1820-30; < French < Polish: literally, old woman, peasant woman; the cake was introduced into France by the court of the exiled Polish king Stanislaus I Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for baba
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He glanced at Carmena's motionless figure, standing by baba.

    Ramona Helen Hunt Jackson
  • The baba Yaga gave him food and drink, and bid him set about his business.

    Russian Fairy Tales W. R. S. Ralston
  • At the corner of the rue baba stands the Maison Sverin, with its board announcing furnished flats to let.

    To Tell You the Truth Leonard Merrick
  • There stood a hut, and in it sat weaving the baba Yaga, the Bony-shanks.

    Russian Fairy Tales W. R. S. Ralston
  • So have I apportioned to thee thy work, to baba Mustapha his; reserving to myself the work that is mine!'

British Dictionary definitions for baba


/ˈbɑːbɑː; French baba/
a small cake of leavened dough, sometimes mixed with currants and usually soaked in rum (rum baba)
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for baba

kind of plum cake, 1827, from French baba (19c.), said by French etymology dictionaries to be from Polish baba.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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