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[shi-fon, shif-on] /ʃɪˈfɒn, ˈʃɪf ɒn/
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for chiffon
  • Pecan flour adds a deep flavor and subtle texture to this chiffon-style cake.
  • Life is not boulders and snow and perfume and chiffon.
  • With her supplies exhausted, she dropped guns and picked up chiffon.
  • It had clean lines, a simple chiffon skirt and illusion sleeves.
  • But that close connection isn't what has people talking about the silk-chiffon number.
  • Her fur-trimmed boots in shades of gray were a delight, paired with tunics, dresses and cool sheer chiffon leggings.
  • Upper section of dress has an appliquéd chiffon overlay.
  • Custards, cream filled pastries, chiffon and cheese pies.
  • Bar ton wore an exquisite gown of pale blue brocaded satin with bodice garniture of pale blue chiffon.
British Dictionary definitions for chiffon


/ʃɪˈfɒn; ˈʃɪfɒn/
a fine transparent or almost transparent plain-weave fabric of silk, nylon, etc
(often pl) (rare) feminine finery
made of chiffon
(of soufflés, pies, cakes, etc) having a very light fluffy texture
Derived Forms
chiffony, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from French, from chiffe rag; probably related to chip
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 chiffon

"feminine finery, sheer silk fabric," 1765, from French chiffon (17c.), diminutive of chiffe "a rag, piece of cloth" (17c.), of unknown origin, perhaps a variant of English chip (n.1) or one of its Germanic cousins. Klein suggests Arabic. Extension to pastry is attested by 1929.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for chiffon

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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