filament

noun

fil·​a·​ment ˈfi-lə-mənt How to pronounce filament (audio)
: a single thread or a thin flexible threadlike object, process, or appendage (see appendage sense 2): such as
a
: a tenuous (see tenuous sense 2) conductor (as of carbon or metal) made incandescent by the passage of an electric current
specifically : a cathode (see cathode sense 2) in the form of a metal wire in an electron tube
b(1)
: a thin and fine elongated constituent part of a gill (see gill entry 2 sense 1)
(2)
: an elongated thin series of cells attached one to another or a very long thin cylindrical single cell (as of some algae, fungi, or bacteria)
c
: the anther-bearing stalk of a stamen see flower illustration
filamentary adjective
filamentous adjective

Examples of filament in a Sentence

algae covered with tiny filaments the cable was made up of fine filaments twisted together
Recent Examples on the Web Read More: How to Lower Your Home Energy Bill LED light bulbs create light by passing an electrical current through a microchip, whereas incandescents heat a filament that produces light. TIME, 27 Mar. 2024 There are additional filtration stages (critical when many of the filaments are going to be finer than a piece of hair), with the emerging polymer cut up into balls or cubes of resin. Erik Matuszewski, Forbes, 10 Feb. 2024 This material comes from the underside fluff of waterfowl, namely ducks and geese, characterized by a cluster of light filaments around a central quill. Brianna Kamienski, The Arizona Republic, 23 Feb. 2024 In other words, a filament might be a pancake viewed along its edge. Nia Imara, Scientific American, 20 Feb. 2024 Sometimes, when a bulb breaks, the filament and a supporting glass rod remain. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, 16 Feb. 2024 Regions where one or more of these filaments meet, known as hubs, are where massive stars form. Elizabeth Rayne, Ars Technica, 4 July 2023 Introduction Clusters of hundreds or thousands of galaxies sit at the intersections of giant, crisscrossing filaments of matter that form the tapestry of the cosmos. Liz Kruesi, Quanta Magazine, 4 Mar. 2024 Contrary to its fearsome name, the vampire squid passively feeds on marine snow – drifting organic particles – using two long, sticky filaments. Anna Nordseth, Discover Magazine, 1 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'filament.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle French, from Medieval Latin filamentum, from Late Latin filare to spin — more at file

First Known Use

1594, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of filament was in 1594

Dictionary Entries Near filament

Cite this Entry

“Filament.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/filament. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

filament

noun
fil·​a·​ment ˈfil-ə-mənt How to pronounce filament (audio)
: a single thread or a thin flexible threadlike object, process, or part: as
a
: a wire (as in a light bulb) that is made to glow by the passage of an electric current
b
: a long chain of cells (as of some bacteria or algae)
c
: the anther-bearing stalk of a plant stamen
filamentous adjective

Medical Definition

filament

noun
fil·​a·​ment ˈfil-ə-mənt How to pronounce filament (audio)
: a single thread or a thin flexible threadlike object, process, or appendage
especially : an elongated thin series of cells attached one to another or a very long thin cylindrical single cell (as of some algae, fungi, or bacteria)
filamentous adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on filament

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