or ra·tan

[ra-tan, ruh-]
  1. Also called rattan palm. any of various climbing palms of the genus Calamus or allied genera.
  2. the tough stems of such palms, used for wickerwork, canes, etc.
  3. 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for rattan



  1. any of the climbing palms of the genus Calamus and related genera, having tough stems used for wickerwork and canes
  2. the stems of such plants collectively
  3. a stick made from one of these stems

Word Origin for rattan

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

Word Origin and History for rattan

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper