fil·​let | \ ˈfi-lət How to pronounce fillet (audio) , in sense 2b also fi-ˈlā, ˈfi-(ˌ)lā How to pronounce fillet (audio) \
variants: or less commonly filet \ fi-​ˈlā How to pronounce fillet (audio) , ˈfi-​(ˌ)lā \

Definition of fillet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a ribbon or narrow strip of material used especially as a headband
2a : a thin narrow strip of material
b : a piece or slice of boneless meat or fish especially : the tenderloin of beef
3a : a concave junction formed where two surfaces meet (as at an angle)
b : a strip that gives a rounded appearance to such a junction also : a strip to reinforce the corner where two surfaces meet
4 : a narrow flat architectural member:
a : a flat molding separating others
b : the space between two flutings (see flute entry 1 sense 3) in a shaft


fil·​let | \ ˈfi-lət How to pronounce fillet (audio) , in sense 2 also fi-ˈlā, ˈfi-(ˌ)lā \
filleted; filleting; fillets

Definition of fillet (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to bind, furnish, or adorn with or as if with a fillet
2 : to cut into fillets

Examples of fillet in a Sentence

Noun a juicy fillet of beef Verb He carefully filleted the fish with a sharp knife.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Everyone loves the fillet, but the rest of fish is very underrated. Emma Balter, Chron, 14 June 2022 The seafood linguine with flying fish roe is a winner, as is the sea bass fillet with gnocchi, eggplant, and cashew, in lemon butter and cilantro. Isabelle Kliger, Forbes, 1 June 2022 To serve, mound the quinoa on each plate, top with a fish fillet, spoon some of the pan juices over the quinoa and fish, and add a lemon wedge. Ann Maloney, Washington Post, 31 May 2022 To check for doneness, stick a sharp knife into the top fillet, along the centerline, and push gently to one side; the flesh should separate easily from the center bone and no pinkness should be visible. Janelle Davis, CNN, 25 May 2022 No charges were filed this week following an investigation of a Roseville police officer, who shot and killed a 57-year-old man after crashing his pickup into a tractor-trailer and then refused to drop a fillet knife. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, 19 May 2022 The Wayne Farms chicken breast fillet recall report is available at the FSIS at this link. Chris Smith, BGR, 2 May 2022 Wayne Farms of Decatur, Alabama, is recalling approximately 30,285 pounds of a ready-to-eat chicken-breast fillet product that might be undercooked, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. Marc Bona, cleveland, 30 Apr. 2022 Place the salmon fillet, skin side down, on a baking sheet with sides. Elizabeth Karmel, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The text is also instructional, explaining how to fillet a whole fish, ferment and pickle, and use layering to achieve unorthodox flavor combinations. Von Diaz, Washington Post, 3 June 2022 Fabric bought from Florence bind the cushions made by Sabbagh, and a roving cart becomes a talker when staff use it to carve a whole chicken or fillet a fish tableside. Washington Post, 15 Apr. 2022 Each challenge is based on one of her signature dishes: how to fillet a flat fish, or make clarified butter and soufflés. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 31 Mar. 2022 The Barracuda can allow as many as six fishermen at one time to fillet fish and grind the bones, heads and guts. cleveland, 6 Aug. 2021 The Muckleshoot of Washington state have hosted workshops on how to fillet a salmon and slice up an elk. Richard Mertens, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Feb. 2021 Simply fillet the meat off the thighbone and cut away the knuckle that’s attached to the meat. Alex Robinson, Outdoor Life, 6 May 2020 Instead of filleting and moving on, take the time to explain each part and its function. Popular Science, 1 Apr. 2020 But for those specifically seeking out fried fish: St. Paul fries a raft of it, including cod in crunchy Schlitz beer batter, and an exceptionally moist and meaty breaded walleye fillet. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 24 Feb. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of fillet


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fillet

Noun and Verb

Middle English filet, from Anglo-French, diminutive of fil thread, from Latin filum — more at file

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Time Traveler for fillet

Time Traveler

The first known use of fillet was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near fillet

filler vase



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Statistics for fillet

Last Updated

24 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fillet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for fillet


fil·​let | \ ˈfi-lət How to pronounce fillet (audio) , fi-ˈlā \

Kids Definition of fillet

: a piece of boneless meat or fish


fil·​let | \ ˈfil-ət How to pronounce fillet (audio) \

Medical Definition of fillet

: a band of anatomical fibers specifically : lemniscus

More from Merriam-Webster on fillet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fillet

Nglish: Translation of fillet for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about fillet


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