[ 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.

  1. a stick or switch of this material.

Origin of rattan

First recorded in 1600–10; by uncertain mediation from Malay rōtan, alleged to derive from rout “scrape off, trim” with -an nominalizing suffix
  • Sometimes ra·tan .

Words Nearby rattan

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

How to use rattan in a sentence

  • Nevertheless, this modern Epaminondas made use of the rattan in his choleric moments, and advised its use!

    The Reign of Greed | Jose Rizal
  • In one hand he carries a short rattan stick, which he twirls in his fingers carelessly.

  • It was there that I learned the art of weaving reeds and rattan, and carving curious designs upon wood.

    The Surprises of Life | Georges Clemenceau

British Dictionary definitions for rattan



/ (ræˈtæn) /

  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

  1. a stick made from one of these stems

Origin of 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