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[rey-on] /ˈreɪ ɒn/
a regenerated, semisynthetic textile filament made from cellulose, cotton linters, or wood chips by treating these with caustic soda and carbon disulfide and passing the resultant solution, viscose, through spinnerets.
fabric made of this filament.
made of rayon.
Origin of rayon
First recorded in 1920-25; apparently based on ray1
Related forms
half-rayon, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rayon
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Cords are made with surface coverings of several different materials: braided cotton, rayon or silk, and molded rubber or plastic.

  • Surprisingly enough, some industries such as the tobacco industry and the rayon and cellophane industries expanded considerably.

  • Ned, take a good look at that Chinese guy in the rayon bathrobe and let me know who he is.

    Arm of the Law Harry Harrison
  • Has walking become an outmoded sport or are you trying to save wear and tear on rayon stockings?

    Saboteurs on the River Mildred A. Wirt
British Dictionary definitions for rayon


any of a number of textile fibres made from wood pulp or other forms of cellulose
any fabric made from such a fibre
(modifier) consisting of or involving rayon: a rayon shirt
Word Origin
C20: from French, from Old French rairay1
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 rayon

1924, chosen by National Retail Dry Goods Association of America, probably from French rayon "beam of light, ray," from rai (see ray (n.1)), which also was used in Middle English as a name for a type of cloth. So called because it is shiny. A more marketable alternative than the original patented name, artificial silk (1884), or the intervening attempt, Glos, which was "killed by ridicule" ["Draper's Record," June 14, 1924].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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