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

  • noun A narrow strip of ribbon or similar material, often worn as a headband.
  • noun A strip or compact piece of boneless meat or fish, especially the beef tenderloin.
  • noun A boneless strip of meat rolled and tied, as for roasting.
  • noun A thin flat molding used as separation between or ornamentation for larger moldings.
  • noun A ridge between the indentations of a fluted column.
  • noun A narrow decorative line impressed onto the cover of a book.
  • noun Heraldry A narrow horizontal band placed in the lower fourth area of the chief.
  • noun Anatomy A loop-shaped band of fibers, such as the lemniscus.
  • transitive verb To bind or decorate with or as if with a fillet.
  • transitive verb To slice, bone, or make into fillets.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To bind, furnish, or adorn with a fillet or little band.
  • In cooking: To form into or dress as a fillet, as a piece of beef.
  • To cut fillets from, as from a chicken or a fish.
  • noun The rounded corner of a groove in a roll, or of a pattern for molding, etc.
  • noun A loop-shaped instrument or bandage by means of which, when passed over a projecting part of the fetus, traction is made in cases of tedious or obstructed labor.
  • noun A little band to tie about the hair of the head.
  • noun A bill or paper kept on a file; a bill of fare.
  • noun In architecture: A small molding having the appearance of a narrow flat band; an annulet; a list; a listel. It often projects, and is then rectangular in section. It is generally used to separate ornaments and moldings.
  • noun The ridge between the flutes of a column; a facet.
  • noun In heraldry: A bearing consisting of a barrulet occupying a position corresponding to the lower edge of the chief.
  • noun A bearing consisting of a quarter of the bordure.
  • noun Same as baston: in this sense usually called fillet of bastardy. Also combel.
  • noun In technology: In carpentry: A strip nailed to a wall or partition to support a shelf, or a strip for a door to close against. A strip set into an angle between two boards.
  • noun In gilding, a band of gold-leaf on a picture-frame or elsewhere.
  • noun In coining, a strip of metal rolled to a certain size.
  • noun The thread of a screw.
  • noun A ring on the muzzle of a gun, etc.
  • noun In a dairy, a perforated curb by which cheese-curds are confined.
  • noun In bookbinding, a wheel-shaped tool on the edge of which is engraved a line or decoration, which is impressed on the backs or covers of books.
  • noun In telegraphy, a paper ribbon upon which telegrams are recorded.
  • noun In printing, a rule with broad or broad and narrow lines, principally used as a border.
  • noun In weaving, a strip of card-clothing.
  • noun A muscle, or a piece of meat composed of muscle; especially, the fleshy part of the thigh. The fillet of beef is the tenderloin; the fillet of veal, a thick piece cut from the leg; the fillet of chicken, the breast.
  • noun In the manège, the loins of a horse, beginning at the place where the hinder part of the saddle rests.
  • noun In cooking: A piece of beef, veal, or chicken, etc., boned and rolled, generally larded, tied round to keep it in shape, roasted or baked, and served with various sauces.
  • noun A thick slice of fish.
  • noun In anatomy, some special bundle of nerve-fibers; specifically, a band of longitudinal fibers lying in the ventral and outer parts of the tegmental region of the brain.
  • noun In entomology: A narrow transverse colored band or mark, or an encircling band.
  • noun The space between the eyes and the base of the mandibles or cheliceræ, as of a spider.

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

  • transitive verb To bind, furnish, or adorn with a fillet.
  • noun A little band, especially one intended to encircle the hair of the head.
  • noun (Cooking) A piece of lean meat without bone; sometimes, a long strip rolled together and tied.
  • noun A thin strip or ribbon; esp.: (a) A strip of metal from which coins are punched. (b) A strip of card clothing. (c) A thin projecting band or strip.
  • noun (Mach.) A concave filling in of a reëntrant angle where two surfaces meet, forming a rounded corner.
  • noun (Arch.) A narrow flat member; especially, a flat molding separating other moldings; a reglet; also, the space between two flutings in a shaft. See Illust. of Base, and Column.
  • noun (Her.) An ordinary equaling in breadth one fourth of the chief, to the lowest portion of which it corresponds in position.
  • noun (Mech.) The thread of a screw.
  • noun A border of broad or narrow lines of color or gilt.


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

[Middle English filet, from Old French, diminutive of fil, thread, from Latin fīlum; see gwhī- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French filet, ultimately from Latin fīlum ("thread").


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  • Eric - Typically if a fillet is marked “sashimi grade”, then it is safe to eat.

    Spicy Hamachi Gunkan Maki 2008

  • Give me a well marbled T-bone or fillet from a fat grain fed steer, black on the outside and red (without blood) on the inside, garlic and black pepper.

    The Cowboys are in town... 1919

  • The design of the Classic Head cent had resulted in criticism, for the narrow headband worn by Liberty (called a fillet) was worn only by young males in ancient Greece, awarded as a prize to winners of athletic contests.

    Matron Head Large Cent, 1816-1835 : Coin Guide 2009

  • The design of the Classic Head cent had resulted in criticism, for the narrow headband worn by Liberty called a fillet was worn only by young males in ancient Greece, awarded as a prize to winners of athletic contests.

    Matron Head Large Cent, 1816-1835 : Coin Guide 2009

  • Commencing with a countersunk head as the strongest form of head, the greater the fillet permissible under the head of a rivet, or bolt, the greater the strength and the decrease in liability to fracture, as a fillet is the life of the rivet.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 810, July 11, 1891 Various

  • At the upper corners of the fillet are the evangelistic emblems of St. Matthew and St. John, while those of St. Mark and St. Luke, which were evidently at the bottom, have been taken away.

    A Short Account of King's College Chapel Walter Poole Littlechild

  • Each of the half-pillars that support them is a cluster of five large engaged shafts separated by very deep hollows, and upon every shaft there is a large fillet, which is carried up into the capital and down over the base.

    Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Ripon A Short History of the Church and a Description of Its Fabric Cecil Walter Charles Hallett

  • This part of the lateral lemniscus is known as the fillet of Reil.

    IX. Neurology. 4e. Composition and Central Connections of the Spinal Nerves 1918

  • I have what the French call a fillet of voice -- my best notes scarce audible about a dinner-table, and the upper register rather to be regarded as a higher power of silence.

    The Wrecker 1898

  • Pla preaw whan, a whole red snapper ($26.95; a fillet is a less-costly option), was gorgeous to look at and fun to eat, fried to a brittle crisp outside, firm and meaty (if not a little dry) inside, and finished with a mild sweet-and-sour sauce replete with chopped pineapple, tomato and crinkle-cut cucumbers.

    Latest News 2010


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  • Lend me thy fillet, Love!

    I would no longer see:

    Cover mine eyelids close awhile,

    And make me blind like thee.

    - Edward Rowland Sill, 'The Lover's Song'.

    September 15, 2009

  • fill et

    January 4, 2010