Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The shallow groove running down the center of the outer surface of the upper lip.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A philter.
  • n. The groove running from the septum of the nose down the central line of the upper lip.

Etymologies

From the Ancient Greek φίλτρον (philtron), from φιλέω ("to love, to kiss"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • She said that it was called the philtrum, that it was one of the places where the soul lived.

    KILLING COUSINS

  • For some reason that made me Google "philtrum" -- I guess people must Google their "favorite body parts" -- and the incredibly weird thing is that it took me here.

    A man and his mustache.

  • Yet four members of the group shared a kind of family resemblance: they were stunted in stature, with small heads, flattened faces, drooping eyelids, and smooth upper lips lacking the groove known as a philtrum.

    Origins

  • The right cheek, then the left, feeling for missed spots along the jaw line, and next the upper lip, the sides and that middle dent called the philtrum, and finally the fussy section, where most cuts occur, between the lower lip and the knob of the chin.

    A Toast to the Visible World: Remembering John Updike - Paper Cuts Blog - NYTimes.com

  • The interval between the two medial bands corresponds with the depression, called the philtrum, seen on the lip beneath the septum of the nose.

    IV. Myology. 4d. The Muscles of the Mouth

  • And, my favorite, the midline indentation in the upper lip, is termed the philtrum ` love potion. '

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol VI No 1

  • I also like philtrum, which is the vertical indentation above one’s upper lip.

    Dear Clusterflock | clusterflock

  • The strangely stiff white ruff, rather coarsely painted, is a perfect foil for Rosalba's gorgeously lustrous eyes, philtrum and ringlets.

    Gopnik's Daily Pic: Rosalba Peale by Rembrandt Peale

  • From Middle French philtre, from Latin philtrum, from Greek philtron; akin to Greek philosophy dear.

    Dear Clusterflock | clusterflock

  • A child lounging by his locker a few minutes after the late bell lashes out at me--I notice the thin upper lip, the erased philtrum, the impulsive behavior, all suggestive of prenatal alcohol exposure.

    Beaky's not bringing home a diploma

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Comments

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  • Believe me, it's better that way. ;-)

    April 9, 2008

  • I don't. I didn't know it had a name, until I saw it in a Superman novel.

    October 6, 2007

  • The groove in the upper lip that runs from the top of the lip to the nose.

    Yes, we all have rather less appealing names for this, don't we? ;-)

    February 23, 2007