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A raion (or rayon) is the name of a way several former Soviet republics are divided. The word is from French rayon which means 'honeycomb, department'. It describes both a type of a subnational entity and a division of a city. It is commonly written in English as "district". Raion also can be used simply as a second division without anything to do with ethnicity or nationality. A raion is usually two steps below the national level. In smaller countries it could be the first level.
- Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1961, repr. 1981), s.v. raion.