American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A snap or light blow made by pressing a fingertip against the thumb and suddenly releasing it.
- n. An embellishment that excites or stimulates: "Spritely tabasco onions, just a little crunch for the top, were an added fillip” ( Alison Arnett).
- n. One that is trivial or of little importance.
- v. To strike or propel rapidly by as or as if by a fillip: filliped his finger against my ear; filliped the pretzel across the counter.
- v. To stimulate or arouse.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To strike slightly or with some light instrument; especially, to strike with the nail of a finger first bent against the ball of the thumb, and let fly from that position with some force.
- To strike, nudge, or touch, as a horse or a person, in order to urge or press forward; incite; drive.
- To strike or tap with the nail of the finger.
- n. A jerk of a finger bent against the ball of the thumb, and then suddenly let fly; hence, a smart tap or stroke.
- n. Anything which tends to rouse, excite, or revive: as, that acted as a fillip to my spirits.
- n. archaic A flick; the act of releasing the index finger from the hold of a thumb with a snap.
- n. Something that excites or stimulates.
- v. transitive To strike or project with the nail of a finger snapped from the end of the thumb; flick.
- v. transitive To tap or strike smartly.
- v. transitive To make a fillip; drive by or as by a fillip; stimulate; excite; whet.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To strike with the nail of the finger, first placed against the ball of the thumb, and forced from that position with a sudden spring; to snap with the finger.
- v. To snap; to project quickly.
- n. A jerk of the finger forced suddenly from the thumb; a smart blow.
- n. Something serving to rouse or excite.
- n. anything that tends to arouse
- From Middle English philippe, filippen ("to make a sound with right forefinger and thumb, snap"). Origin uncertain. Probably an alteration of Middle English flappen ("to hit, slap, clap, applaud"). More at flap. A fillip gradually became “something of small importance; a trifle.” “The rest is not worth a fillip with the finger.” And, the word could also express a short space of time (perhaps the time it took to “flick” the finger). “The tortoise..in a fillip of the finger was down in the gardens of Riu Gu.” Only in the 18th and 19th centuries did its current usage, as encouragement or stimulus, tend to dominate. (Wiktionary)
- Imitative. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Just as critics predicted, the rebate checks gave consumer spending a short-term fillip without changing longer-term incentives.”
“The result was a short-term fillip to statistical GDP but no surge in real growth.”
“Tax reform that lowers marginal rates while eliminating exemptions would make the economy more productive in the long run; but it would provide no short-term fillip to demand.”
“Therefore, there might be some short-term fillip given to the market whether from the government or other sources.”
“Copper consumption is expected to fall 9\% this year but purchases by China's State Board could have provided a short-term fillip to pricing along with speculation that US economic activity would improve.”
“Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka markedly overperformed in the Twenty20 and it is our conjecture that 'war against themselves' provides a greater short-term fillip to a sporting nation than”
“There has been a short-term fillip through tourism, although not as much as had been originally hoped for.”
“And, at the Jordanian frontier, there was an added "fillip": the border guards demanded a US$500 bribe to admit you.”
“This plainly shows that I require no "fillip" or stimulant when at work.”
“O'Brien's favorite decoctions, which was averred to possess the virtue of giving a "fillip" to the lagging appetite, and attuning it to the healthiest possible breakfast pitch.”
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