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[nahy-lon] /ˈnaɪ lɒn/
any of a class of thermoplastic polyamides capable of extrusion when molten into fibers, sheets, etc., of extreme toughness, strength, and elasticity, synthesized by the interaction of a dicarboxylic acid with a diamine: used especially for yarn, fabrics, and bristles, as for brushes.
nylons, stockings made of nylon, especially sheer, full-length ones for women.
Origin of nylon
1938; coined as a generic by the du Pont Chemical Co. as distinct from known words and having no prior meaning or use, but with the suffix -on suggesting other textile fibers such as rayon
Related forms
half-nylon, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nylon
  • But because they're heavy, you'll need to support them with cotton or nylon slings.
  • Wear nylon gloves when putting them on and you'll rarely snag or run your hose.
  • Everyone else said no, it was nylon and would float.
  • They are smuggled in thermoses and nylon stockings, stuffed into toilet paper tubes, hair curlers and hubcaps.
  • Yet pound for pound, the sturdiest spider silks are stronger than steel and stretchier than nylon.
  • To demonstrate the relativity of same direction pull, place a bearing in each of two opposite corners on top of the nylon.
  • Similarly, consider one shirt made from wool and another from nylon.
  • Fishermen's modern nylon gillnets, which caught and drowned the birds, also contributed to their demise.
  • The shaft had rusted, expanding in the process, and was tight in the nylon bushings that served as bearings.
  • The prototype's inner shell, made from a strong yet somewhat flexible nylon material, gives the ball structural strength.
British Dictionary definitions for nylon


a class of synthetic polyamide materials made by copolymerizing dicarboxylic acids with diamines. They can be moulded into a variety of articles, such as combs and machine parts. Nylon monofilaments are used for bristles, etc, and nylon fibres can be spun into yarn
  1. yarn or cloth made of nylon, used for clothing, stockings, etc
  2. (as modifier): a nylon dress See also nylons
Word Origin
C20: originally a trademark


(informal) a high-earning business executive who enjoys a transatlantic lifestyle, living part of the year in New York City and part in London
Word Origin
C20: from N(ew) Y(ork) + Lon(don)
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 nylon

1938, coined, according to DuPont, from random generic syllable nyl- + -on, common ending in fiber names (cf. rayon), said to be ultimately from cotton. Use (in plural) for "nylon stockings" is from 1940.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nylon in Science
Any of various materials made of synthetic polyamides (a type of nitrogen-containing polymer). Nylon is very strong and elastic, and can be formed into fibers, sheets, or bristles. It is used to make fabrics, plastics, and molded products.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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