Definitions

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

  • adj. Made of silk.
  • adj. Resembling silk in texture or appearance; smooth and lustrous. See Synonyms at sleek.
  • adj. Delicately pleasing or caressing in effect: a silken voice.
  • adj. Luxurious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Made of silk.
  • adj. Having a smooth, soft, or light texture, like that of silk; suggestive of silk.
  • adj. Smoothly uttered; flowing, subtle, or convincing in presentation.
  • v. To render silken or silklike.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to silk; made of, or resembling, silk.
  • adj. Fig.: Soft; delicate; tender; smooth.
  • adj. Dressed in silk.
  • transitive v. To render silken or silklike.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of, pertaining to, or consisting of silk.
  • Like silk; soft or lustrous; hence, delicate; tender; smooth.
  • Dressed in silk; hence, luxurious.
  • To make silky or like silk; render soft or lustrous.

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

  • adj. having a smooth, gleaming surface reflecting light

Etymologies

From Middle English silken, from Old English seolcen ("made of silk, silken"), equivalent to silk +‎ -en. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • She wrapped her tree in silken lies, spun promise-dreams of innocence, beguiling the fetid flies that were the souls of her progeny generations upon generations gone.

    DREAMING LIES TO CHANGE THE TRUTH • by Kaolin Fire

  • If I when my wife is sleeping and the baby and Kathleen are sleeping and the sun is a flame-white disc in silken mists above shining trees, -- if I in my north room dance naked, grotesquely before my mirror waving my shirt round my head and singing softly to myself

    January 2007

  • Sahim in silken robes of honour gold inwoven and set on

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Truth, and they sought for it with such instance, and they so highly valued it that the high priests of the Greeks used to send it to all the countries of the Christians in silken wraps after mixing it with musk and ambergris.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • He was beginning to be a very pretty baby; his golden hair curled in silken ringlets all over his little round head and his eyes were beautiful.

    Rilla of Ingleside

  • Their petals fell in silken heaps along the old paths or clung to the lush grasses among which Eric lay and dreamed, while Kilmeny played to him on her violin.

    Kilmeny of the Orchard

  • Garbed was she in silken raiment of tenderest green, wrought upon with some quaint workmanship of gold and silver.

    Love and Life Behind the Purdah

  • The ripples of their hair, drawn back from the broad brown brows and knotted in silken abundance at the nape, glitter like polished jet, and the fine, haughty, dark features lit with little points of gold – tiny studs set in the high nostrils and the upper rims of the little ears.

    In Seven Stages: A Flying Trip Around the World

  • Close to the strong stem, dangled oranges and rosy-cheeked apples; the sugar-plums were contained in silken bags, made in the shape of flour-sacks, and tied at the neck with a gilt string.

    A Christmas Cake in Four Quarters

  • He had been for many years a cruel sufferer from the most atrocious form of rheumatic gout; chalkstones exuded from him like drops of blood; his limbs were all swathed in silken bandages; but at seventy years of age, and all but bedridden, there were still in his eye and in his voice the vigour and cheeriness of a young man.

    Echoes of the Week

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  • Used for 31 MAR 11

    April 1, 2011