[ nahy-lon ]

  1. any of a class of thermoplastic polyamides capable of extrusion when molten into fibers, sheets, etc., of extreme toughness, strength, and elasticity, synthesized by the interaction of a dicarboxylic acid with a diamine: used especially for yarn, fabrics, and bristles, as for brushes.

  2. nylons, stockings made of nylon, especially sheer, full-length ones for women.

Origin of nylon

1938; coined as a generic by the du Pont Chemical Co. as distinct from known words and having no prior meaning or use, but with the suffix -on suggesting other textile fibers such as rayon

Other words from nylon

  • half-nylon, adjective

Words Nearby nylon

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use nylon in a sentence

  • Conservatively dressed—matching coat and trousers of orange nylon tweed—royal blue half-brim bowler—carrying a blue brief case.

    The Penal Cluster | Ivar Jorgensen (AKA Randall Garrett)
  • From his pocket he took a long strip of cloth and some of the tough nylon cords from the net.

    Stalemate | Basil Eugene Wells
  • I gave her a nylon nightgown and a little nylon coat that went on and she was sitting and touching it.

    Warren Commission (9 of 26): Hearings Vol. IX (of 15) | The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • He was firmly attached to the ship by a long nylon rope which he hooked to rings set on the outer shell.

    The Secret of the Ninth Planet | Donald Allen Wollheim
  • Then he hastily drew off his left gauntlet and the thin nylon glove that was the inner protection of his suit.

    The Secret of the Ninth Planet | Donald Allen Wollheim

British Dictionary definitions for nylon (1 of 2)


/ (ˈnaɪlɒn) /

  1. a class of synthetic polyamide materials made by copolymerizing dicarboxylic acids with diamines. They can be moulded into a variety of articles, such as combs and machine parts. Nylon monofilaments are used for bristles, etc, and nylon fibres can be spun into yarn

    • yarn or cloth made of nylon, used for clothing, stockings, etc

    • (as modifier): a nylon dress See also nylons

Origin of nylon

C20: originally a trademark

British Dictionary definitions for NYLON (2 of 2)


/ (ˈnaɪlɒn) /

  1. informal a high-earning business executive who enjoys a transatlantic lifestyle, living part of the year in New York City and part in London

Origin of NYLON

C20: from N (ew) Y (ork) + Lon (don)

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

Scientific definitions for nylon


[ lŏn′ ]

  1. Any of various materials made of synthetic polyamides (a type of nitrogen-containing polymer). Nylon is very strong and elastic, and can be formed into fibers, sheets, or bristles. It is used to make fabrics, plastics, and molded products.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.