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A dessert made of paper-thin layers of pastry, chopped nuts, and honey.
[Ultimately (partly via Greek and Armenian) from Ottoman Turkish, possibly colloquial alteration of baklavī, chain mail (perhaps because a tray of baklava cut into lozenges somewhat resembles chain mail), from Ottoman naval jargon bakla, chain link, from Ottoman Turkish bakla, fava bean (the oblong shape of a chain link being likened to that of a bean), from Arabic baqla, leguminous plant, from baqala, to sprout; akin to Akkadian baqālu, to malt, sprout, and Ge'ez baqwala, to sprout.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Cookery) a rich cake of Middle Eastern origin consisting of thin layers of pastry filled with nuts and honey
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ba•kla•va(ˈbɑ kləˌvɑ, ˌbɑ kləˈvɑ)
a Greek and Middle Eastern pastry made of many layers of paper-thin dough with a filling of ground nuts, baked and drenched in honey.
[1815–25; < Turkish]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.