1

filigree

noun fil·i·gree \ ˈfi-lə-ˌgrē \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of filigree

1 :ornamental work especially of fine wire of gold, silver, or copper applied chiefly to gold and silver surfaces
  • a headband decorated with silver filigree
2 a :ornamental openwork of delicate or intricate design
b :a pattern or design resembling such openwork
  • a filigree of frost
c :ornamentation, embellishment
  • writings … heavy with late Victorian filigree
  • —Jack Beatty

Examples of filigree in a Sentence

  1. a surface decorated with filigree and pearls

Recent Examples of filigree from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Ornamental work formerly made with grains or beads is called filigree. It comes from an Italian word made from the Latin words for thread and grain. Today filigree is usually of fine wire of gold, silver, or copper, and is used chiefly to decorate gold and silver surfaces. Filigree can also apply to any ornamental openwork of delicate or intricate design or to a pattern or design resembling such openwork.

Illustration of filigree

Origin and Etymology of filigree

modification of French filigrane, from Italian filigrana, from Latin filum + granum grain — more at corn

Other Handicraft Terms


2

filigree

verb

Definition of filigree

filigreed; filigreeing
transitive verb
:to adorn with or as if with filigree

Recent Examples of filigree from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of filigree

Other Fine Arts Terms


FILIGREE Defined for English Language Learners

filigree

noun

Definition of filigree for English Language Learners

  • : decoration that consists of delicate and complicated designs made of fine gold or silver wire


FILIGREE Defined for Kids

filigree

noun fil·i·gree \ ˈfi-lə-ˌgrē \

Definition of filigree for Students

:decoration made of fine wire a jewelry box with gold filigree


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to praise usually to excess

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
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!