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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Diane stared curiously at the fire-rimmed hem of her satin skirt.

    Diane of the Green Van Leona Dalrymple
  • There were other and still other banners, in velvet or in satin, balanced at the end of gilded batons.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • Each gentleman escorted a dame wearing a coat of satin cramoisy over a fur-edged round skirt la Portuguaise.

    Charles the Bold Ruth Putnam
  • He was a chestnut horse, with a coat that shone like satin, and not a white hair about him.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • With satin walnut, pine, American white-wood, gouging is not a difficult matter.

    Toy-Making in School and Home Ruby Kathleen Polkinghorne and Mabel Irene Rutherford Polkinghorne
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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