filament

noun
fil·​a·​ment | \ ˈfi-lə-mənt \

Definition of filament

: 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from filament

filamentary \ ˌfi-​lə-​ˈmen-​t(ə-​)rē \ adjective
filamentous \ ˌfi-​lə-​ˈmen-​təs \ adjective

Synonyms for filament

Synonyms

bristle, fiber, hair, thread

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Your fingers will start to glow from the light that passes through the tissue, but the image of the filament is lost by the random path the light takes through your hand. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Metamaterial-equipped endoscope reveals your innermost secrets," 4 Aug. 2018 The paint forms various viscous filaments, which are thrown against a vertical canvas. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study: modern masters like Jackson Pollock were “intuitive physicists”," 26 Dec. 2018 MakerBot has been selling machines with multiple extruders since 2012, for instance — so one extruder can print an object with ordinary plastic filament, and another can lay down a support scaffold that dissolves in water. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "MakerBot’s new 3D printer shows how much it’s changed in nine years," 11 Dec. 2018 The arm is connected to a tube on the ground that feeds a mix of fiberglass and resin into the robot to create the wet filament. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Watch a swarm of robots build a fiber structure," 12 Oct. 2018 Tens or even hundreds of these filaments are then twisted together to form a single e-thread that’s usually less than half a millimeter across. Asimina Kiourti, Scientific American, "Embroidering Electronics into the Next Generation of “Smart” Fabrics," 13 Mar. 2018 Cells typically move by using tiny filaments that help them push and pull off other objects. Douglas Quenqua, New York Times, "Inside Wounded Flies, Fat Cells Race to the Rescue," 26 Feb. 2018 The name Fiberbots refers to the robots themselves: small, cylindrical machines that spool fiberglass filament out of an arm. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Watch a swarm of robots build a fiber structure," 12 Oct. 2018 But every printer comes with its own peculiarities, often reflected by its filament type and nozzle size. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Researcher Discovers Way to Trace 3D-Printed Guns—With a Few Caveats," 15 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'filament.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of filament

1594, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for filament

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about filament

Statistics for filament

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for filament

The first known use of filament was in 1594

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for filament

filament

noun

English Language Learners Definition of filament

: a thin thread or hair
: a thin wire in a light bulb that glows when electricity passes through it

filament

noun
fil·​a·​ment | \ ˈfi-lə-mənt \

Kids Definition of filament

1 : a fine thread a filament of silk
2 : a fine wire (as in a light bulb) that is made to glow by the passage of an electric current
3 : the stalk of a plant stamen that bears the anther

filament

noun
fil·​a·​ment | \ ˈfil-ə-mənt \

Medical Definition of filament

: 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)

Other Words from filament

filamentous \ ˌfil-​ə-​ˈment-​əs \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on filament

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for filament

Spanish Central: Translation of filament

Nglish: Translation of filament for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of filament for Arabic Speakers

Comments on filament

What made you want to look up filament? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

irregularly rounded

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!