[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. raylet,
  2. raymond,
  3. raynaud's disease,
  4. raynaud's phenomenon,
  5. raynaud's syndrome,
  6. rayonny,
  7. rayside-balfour,
  8. raytown,
  9. raza,
  10. raze

Origin of rayon

First recorded in 1920–25; apparently based on ray1

Related formshalf-ray·on, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rayon

British Dictionary definitions for rayon


/ (ˈreɪɒn) /


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 rayona rayon shirt

Word Origin for rayon

C20: from French, from Old French rai ray 1

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 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