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[sat-n] /ˈsæt n/
a fabric in a warp-effect or filling-effect satin weave, as acetate, rayon, nylon, or silk, often having a glossy face and a soft, slippery texture.
a dress or other garment of satin:
She wore her green satin.
of or like satin; smooth; glossy.
made of or covered or decorated with satin:
a satin pillow.
Origin of satin
1325-75; Middle English satyn(e) < Middle French satin, probably < Arabic (aṭlas) zaytūnī (satin) of Zaitun a city in China where the cloth was made, probably Tsinkiang
Related forms
satinlike, adjective
Can be confused
Satan, satin. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for satin
  • Verjuice with patience becomes wine, and the mulberry leaf becomes satin.
  • If the tablecloth has lace insertions, it must on no account be put over satin or over a color.
  • Ungainly hartebeests, and topi whose skins had the sheen of satin, ran with smooth speed.
  • Do not try the scissors method on satin strands, he says, because it will not work.
  • satin banners and propaganda posters with slogans to inspire civic pride were everywhere.
  • And a third species, the satin bowerbird, likes to find things in a particular shade of blue to place outside his bower.
  • Inside, there are glossy satin chromes and two-toned seats upholstered in high-end leather.
  • The royal opted for courtroom glam, showing off a polka-dot sheath dress and satin overcoat.
  • Woody gave her a red satin box filled with chocolates and an embroidered antique heart.
  • IT is interesting to watch the development of satin as a popular dress fabric.
British Dictionary definitions for satin


a fabric of silk, rayon, etc, closely woven to show much of the warp, giving a smooth glossy appearance
(modifier) of or like satin in texture: a satin finish
Derived Forms
satin-like, adjective
satiny, adjective
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Arabic zaitūnī of Zaytūn, Arabic rendering of Chinese Tseutung (now Tsinkiang), port in southern China from which the cloth was probably first exported
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 satin

mid-14c., from Old French satin (14c.), perhaps from Arabic (atlas) zaytuni, literally "(satin) from Zaitun," a Chinese city, perhaps modern Quanzhou in Fukien province, southern China, a major port in the Middle Ages, with a resident community of European traders. The form of the word perhaps influenced in French by Latin seta "silk." OED finds the Arabic connection etymologically untenable and takes the French word straight from Latin. As an adjective from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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