Definitions

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

  • noun A snap or light blow made by pressing a fingertip against the thumb and suddenly releasing it.
  • noun Something that excites or stimulates.
  • transitive verb To strike or propel rapidly by a fillip.
  • transitive verb To stimulate or arouse.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun A jerk of a finger bent against the ball of the thumb, and then suddenly let fly; hence, a smart tap or stroke.
  • noun Anything which tends to rouse, excite, or revive: as, that acted as a fillip to my spirits.

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

  • noun A jerk of the finger forced suddenly from the thumb; a smart blow.
  • noun Something serving to rouse or excite.
  • transitive verb 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.
  • transitive verb To snap; to project quickly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun archaic A flick; the act of releasing the index finger from the hold of a thumb with a snap.
  • noun Something that excites or stimulates.
  • verb transitive To strike or project with the nail of a finger snapped from the end of the thumb; flick.
  • verb transitive To tap or strike smartly.
  • verb transitive To make a fillip; drive by or as by a fillip; stimulate; excite; whet.

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

  • noun anything that tends to arouse

Etymologies

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

[Imitative.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

  • The result was a short-term fillip to statistical GDP but no surge in real growth.

    Lessons From the Selloff

  • Just as critics predicted, the rebate checks gave consumer spending a short-term fillip without changing longer-term incentives.

    Run on Washington

  • 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.

    The Economist: Daily news and views

  • Therefore, there might be some short-term fillip given to the market whether from the government or other sources.

    Moneycontrol Top Headlines

  • Therefore, there might be some short-term fillip given to the market whether from the government or other sources.

    Moneycontrol Top Headlines

  • Therefore, there might be some short-term fillip given to the market whether from the government or other sources.

    Moneycontrol Top Headlines

  • Therefore, there might be some short-term fillip given to the market whether from the government or other sources.

    Moneycontrol Top Headlines

  • Therefore, there might be some short-term fillip given to the market whether from the government or other sources.

    Moneycontrol Top Headlines

  • 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.

    SeekingAlpha.com: Home Page

  • 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.

    SeekingAlpha.com: Home Page

Comments

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  • I mark this in our old Mogul's wine; it's quite as deadening to some as filliping to others.

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 40

    July 25, 2008

  • "You fillip me o' the head."

    - W. Shakespeare, 'Troilus and Cressida'.

    May 25, 2009