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chiffon

[shi-fon, shif-on] /ʃɪˈfɒn, ˈʃɪf ɒn/
noun
1.
a sheer fabric of silk, nylon, or rayon in plain weave.
2.
any women's dress ornament, as ribbon or lace.
adjective
3.
(of dresses, scarves, etc.) resembling or made of chiffon.
4.
(in cooking) having a light, frothy texture, as certain pies and cakes containing beaten egg whites.
Origin
1755-1765
1755-65; < French, equivalent to chiffe rag (< Arabic shiff sheer fabric) + -on noun suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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

chiffon

/ʃɪˈfɒn; ˈʃɪfɒn/
noun
1.
a fine transparent or almost transparent plain-weave fabric of silk, nylon, etc
2.
(often pl) (rare) feminine finery
adjective
3.
made of chiffon
4.
(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
n.

"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.

Learn more about chiffon with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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