[shi-fon, shif-on]
a sheer fabric of silk, nylon, or rayon in plain weave.
any women's dress ornament, as ribbon or lace.
(of dresses, scarves, etc.) resembling or made of chiffon.
(in cooking) having a light, frothy texture, as certain pies and cakes containing beaten egg whites.

1755–65; < French, equivalent to chiffe rag (< Arabic shiff sheer fabric) + -on noun suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
chiffon (ʃɪˈfɒn, ˈʃɪfɒn)
1.  a fine transparent or almost transparent plain-weave fabric of silk, nylon, etc
2.  rare (often plural) feminine finery
3.  made of chiffon
4.  (of soufflés, pies, cakes, etc) having a very light fluffy texture
[C18: from French, from chiffe rag; probably related to chip]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1765, from Fr., dim. of chiffe "a rag, piece of cloth," perhaps a variant of Eng. chip. Extension to pastry is 1929.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in textiles, lightweight, sheer fabric of plain weave, usually of silk or one of the synthetic fibres. Although delicate in appearance, it is a relatively strong, balanced fabric and can be dyed or printed for use in dresses, millinery, scarves, and lampshades. The word chiffon is also used as a modifier to mean a lightweight or softly draping condition-e.g., chiffon velvet and chiffon taffeta.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Pecan flour adds a deep flavor and subtle texture to this chiffon-style cake.
But that close connection isn't what has people talking about the silk-chiffon number.
Life is not boulders and snow and perfume and chiffon.
With her supplies exhausted, she dropped guns and picked up chiffon.
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