Definitions

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

  • n. A fine or thinly spun thread, fiber, or wire.
  • n. Botany The stalk that bears the anther in a stamen.
  • n. Botany A chainlike series of cells, as in many algae.
  • n. A fine wire heated electrically to incandescence in an electric lamp.
  • n. Electronics A high-resistance wire or ribbon forming the cathode in some thermionic tubes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fine thread or wire.
  • n. Such a wire, as can be heated until it glows, in an incandescent light bulb or a thermionic valve.
  • n. A massive, thread-like structure, such as those gaseous ones which extend outward from the surface of the sun, or such as those (much larger) ones which form the boundaries between large voids in the universe.
  • n. The stalk of a stamen in a flower, supporting the anther.
  • n. A continuous object, limited in length only by its spool, and not cut to length.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A thread or threadlike object or appendage; a fiber

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A fine untwisted thread; a separate fiber or fibril of any vegetable or animal tissue or product, natural or artificial, or of a fibrous mineral: as, a filament of silk, wool, cobweb, or asbestos; a cortical or muscular filament.
  • n. Specifically In botany, the support of an anther, usually slender and stalk-like, but very variable in form.
  • n. In ornithology, the part of a down-feather corresponding to the barb of an ordinary feather.
  • n. A tenuous thread of any substance, as glass or mucus; hence, in medicine, a glairy substance sometimes contained in urine, capable of being drawn out into threads or strings.
  • n. The nearly infusible conductor placed in the globe of an incandescent lamp or glow-lamp and raised to incandescence by the passage of the current. It is usually some form of carbon, although metals with high points of fusion have been used.
  • n. In geometrical topics, a movable object which at any one instant, or indivisible determination of time, is at every part of a line. During a lapse of time a filament is restricted to being in some surface, which it is said to generate.
  • n. A long threadlike bacterial growth.

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

  • n. a thin wire (usually tungsten) that is heated white hot by the passage of an electric current
  • n. a very slender natural or synthetic fiber
  • n. a threadlike structure (as a chainlike series of cells)
  • n. the stalk of a stamen

Etymologies

New Latin fīlāmentum, from Late Latin fīlāre, to spin, from Latin fīlum, thread; see gwhī- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin filamentum, from Late Latin filare ("to spin, draw out in a long line"), from Latin filum ("thread") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.