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

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 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, Smithsonian, "The Next Generation of ‘Smart’ Fabrics Could Have Electronics Embroidered Into Them," 12 Mar. 2018 The microtubules and ropelike filaments that form the cell’s transportation infrastructure feature helical structures, which are vital to their function. Frank Wilczek, WSJ, "The Peculiar Power of Nature’s Left and Right," 5 July 2018 The fine, hairlike root tips of trees join together with microscopic fungal filaments to form the basic links of the network, which appears to operate as a symbiotic relationship between trees and fungi, or perhaps an economic exchange. Diàna Markosian, Smithsonian, "Do Trees Talk to Each Other?," 22 Feb. 2018 Those protrusions are topped by a ring of string-like filaments. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Tardigrade Species Found in Parking Lot," 28 Feb. 2018 However, the simulations show that gas pours into a galaxy in cold streams that flow along the dark matter filaments connecting its halo to the cosmic web, Dekel says. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Galaxy simulations are at last matching reality—and producing surprising insights into cosmic evolution," 30 May 2018 Microfibers are individual plastic filaments that are woven together to make fabrics like polyester, nylon, acrylic, and so on. National Geographic, "Plastics Explained, From A to Z," 16 May 2018 In the video, the anglerfish’s filaments and fin-rays also appeared to be glowing. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Elusive Deep-Sea Anglerfish Seen Mating for the First Time," 26 Mar. 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

9 Nov 2018

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

noxious or harmful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a-traditional-thanksgiving-dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!