Definitions

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

  • n. A hairlike feather having few or no barbs, usually located between contour feathers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A hair-like feather; a feather with a slender scape and without a web in most or all of its length.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A hairlike feather; a father with a slender scape and without a web in most or all of its length.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In ornithology, a thread-feather; a thread-like or hair-like feather, with a very slender stem, lacking webs in most or all of its length.

Etymologies

Latin fīlum, thread; see gwhī- in Indo-European roots + plume.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin filum a thread + pluma a soft feather. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Clinging to her hand below the wrist is a filoplume, white and weightless.

    Futurismic

  • In the bedroom after a steam that wasn't nearly long enough, she ran a hand along her pillow, where one slender filoplume rested.

    Futurismic

  • NEW FICTION: AWAKENING IN SIX PARTS by Karen M Roberts: In the bedroom after a steam that wasn't nearly long enough, she ran a hand along her pillow, where one slender filoplume rested.

    Futurismic

  • Lowering her filoplume lashes until they almost swept the blush from her cheeks, she said ever so gravely, "To be with you.

    Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates

Comments

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  • There are three types of feather. The most abundant and obvious are the contour feathers: these include the long, strong wing and tail feathers, but also the short feathers that cover the body and rictal bristles around the mouth. The second type are fluffy, down feathers, lying out of sight under the contour feathers close to the body. Their role is to act primarily as insulation . . . . The third type of feather is much less familiar and you are likely only to have noticed them if you have ever plucked a bird like a chicken or a pigeon. Once all the contour and down feathers have been removed, what's left are the filoplumes, fine hair-like feathers sparsely dotted over the entire body surface and always rooted close to the base of a contour feather.
    Tim Birkhead, Bird Sense: What It's Like to Be a Bird (New York: Walker & Co., 2012), p. 83-84.

    May 30, 2016

  • slenderscape

    August 25, 2009

  • You're welcome! Thought you'd like this one. :-)

    April 12, 2008

  • Thanks, reesetee! (See filoplumate).

    April 11, 2008

  • A specialized, hairlike feather having a slender shaft with few or no barbs.

    April 11, 2008