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90s Slang You Should Know


or ratan

[ra-tan, ruh-] /ræˈtæn, rə-/
Also called rattan palm. any of various climbing palms of the genus Calamus or allied genera.
the tough stems of such palms, used for wickerwork, canes, etc.
a stick or switch of this material.
Origin of rattan
1650-60; by uncertain mediation < Malay rotan, alleged to derive from rout scrape off, with -an nominalizing suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for rattan
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This is effected by inclining it downward every day, a piece of rattan or vine being used to retain it in position.

    The Manbos of Mindano John M. Garvan
  • There may be a couch, or more of them, of bamboo and rattan.

    Four Young Explorers Oliver Optic
  • Two more rings, the same size as the first one, are made with the other pieces of rattan.

  • This is played with a light ball or woven framework of rattan.

  • The men dreaded it more than they did even his rattan, and that, in his hand, was a somewhat formidable weapon.

    Marmaduke Merry William H. G. Kingston
  • At the other end of the pole hung an earthenware jug, tied in a net of rattan.

    Fil and Filippa John Stuart Thomson
  • Then I walk up and down energetically while we are waiting for a new stock of rattan, but that has no better effect.

    Within Prison Walls Thomas Mott Osborne
  • As for cuts, I got more from the schoolmaster's rattan than in any other shape.

    The Poet at the Breakfast Table Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • But always it was lined up again to face the man who rapped its knees with the rattan.

British Dictionary definitions for rattan


any of the climbing palms of the genus Calamus and related genera, having tough stems used for wickerwork and canes
the stems of such plants collectively
a stick made from one of these stems
Word Origin
C17: from Malay rōtan
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 rattan

1650s, from Malay rotan, from raut "to trim, strip, peel, pare."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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