from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A stick of colored wax, charcoal, or chalk, used for drawing.
  • noun A drawing made with one of these sticks.
  • transitive verb To draw, color, or decorate with a stick of colored wax, charcoal, or chalk.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A pencil-shaped piece of colored clay, chalk, or charcoal, used for drawing upon paper.
  • noun A pencil made of a composition of soap, resin, wax, and lampblack, used for drawing upon lithographic stones.
  • noun One of the carbon-points in an electric lamp.
  • Drawn with crayons: as, a crayon sketch.
  • To sketch or draw with a crayon.
  • Hence To sketch in general; plan; commit to paper one's first thoughts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To sketch, as with a crayon; to sketch or plan.
  • noun An implement for drawing, made of clay and plumbago, or of some preparation of chalk, usually sold in small prisms or cylinders.
  • noun A crayon drawing.
  • noun (Electricity) A pencil of carbon used in producing electric light.
  • noun cardboard with a surface prepared for crayon drawing.
  • noun the act or art of drawing with crayons; a drawing made with crayons.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A stick of colored chalk or wax used for drawing.
  • verb To draw with a crayon.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun writing implement consisting of a colored stick of composition wax used for writing and drawing
  • verb write, draw, or trace with a crayon


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French, diminutive of craie, chalk, from Latin crēta.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French crayon ("pencil").


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  • Pronounced "cran," or maybe "cray-un," but certainly never "crown."

    October 31, 2007

  • What, isn't it pronounced, you know, "cray-on"? I'm pretty sure I've never said it "cray-un"...

    November 1, 2007

  • Yeah, I guess you could say it that way too. There is a difference between the way the two sound, but to my ears it's negligible. Maybe you speak with a dialect that makes it more pronounced?

    November 1, 2007

  • Possibly. Or maybe I just enunciate more than average (am I really the only one in this area who pronounces "sandwich" as it's spelled?)

    November 1, 2007

  • I pronounce crayon, when I'm not enunciating carefully, as something like an elongated "cran." Maybe more like "craon"--somewhere between one and two syllables.

    I pronounce sandwich as "sandwich," or maybe a little like "sanwich." I don't like sammich at all--but some people on Wordie really love it.

    November 1, 2007

  • I am decidedly a member of the "crown" camp. So how's about them apples?

    November 2, 2007

  • See this map for American pronunciation.

    April 10, 2008