1

filigree

play
noun fil·i·gree \ˈfi-lə-ˌgrē\

Definition of filigree

  1. 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. 2a :  ornamental openwork of delicate or intricate designb :  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

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


First Known Use: 1693

Other Handicraft Terms


2

filigree

verb fil·i·gree

Definition of filigree

filigreed

;

filigreeing

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to adorn with or as if with filigree

Origin and Etymology of filigree

see 1filigree


First Known Use: 1831

Other Fine Arts Terms


FILIGREE Defined for English Language Learners

1

filigree

play
noun fil·i·gree \ˈfi-lə-ˌgrē\

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

play
noun fil·i·gree \ˈfi-lə-ˌgrē\

Definition of filigree for Students

  1. :  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).

WORD OF THE DAY

possibly but not certainly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • m-ws-new-words-quiz
  • Which word means "inability to recognize faces"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ