Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A leavened rum cake, usually made with raisins.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A kind of sponge cake soaked in rum-flavoured syrup.
  • n. A grandmother.
  • n. An old woman, especially a traditional old woman from an eastern European culture.
  • n. A father.
  • n. A holy man, a spiritual leader.
  • n. A baby, child.
  • n. In baby talk, often used for a variety of words beginning with b, such as bottle or blanket.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of plum cake.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A child's variant of papa.
  • n. A light kind of fruitcake, of Polish origin.
  • n. An Oriental title of respect applied by tributary Arabs to the Turks
  • n. to the ushers of the seraglio, and to the Patriarch of Alexandria.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small cake leavened with yeast

Etymologies

French, from Polish, old woman.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
As one of the first utterances many babies are able to say, baba (like mama, papa, and dada) has come to be used in many languages as a term for various family members: (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Audio file: listen to Jean-Marc pronounce the French word baba cool and read the example sentence (above): Download baba_cool. wav

    French Word-A-Day:

  • Audio file: listen to Jean-Marc pronounce the French word baba cool and read the example sentence above: Download baba_cool.wav

    baba cool - French Word-A-Day

  • In one of the culinary curiosities of the Middle East, eggplant and tahini dip is called baba ghanoush all over Lebanon, and as soon as you cross the border into Syria it's called moutabal.

    Baba Ghanoush (Moutabal)

  • I will say that in some places the eggpant-tahini dip is called baba ganoush and in some places it's called moutabbal, so confusion is understandable.

    Hummus Dilettante

  • In fact, until Caleb lost his bottle, he slept just fine, possibly because the baba was his "cue" to stop thinking and fall asleep, and he needs a new "cue".

    Insomnia

  • He would likewise remember, with dread, the looming third gender in Ramy's marriage, whom the Shurians called their baba, but whom humans distastefully called a wasp.

    The Saturn Game

  • "And dey call your baba a scholar!" said the Doctor, contemptuously.

    The Caxtons — Volume 02

  • Baba ghanouj, also called baba ghanoush, is a savory purée of eggplant flavored with tahini, lemon and fresh herbs.

    10connects.com Local News

  • Now I notice that I get called baba and elder and uncle and papa a whole lot more.

    RVABlogs

  • A baba is a type of cake that is doused with plenty of liquor, mostly rum, and served with a huge dollop of whipped cream.

    The Times of India

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