fillet

noun
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 filet (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

fillet

verb
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 Instead, the same amount is being produced, but with less processing and cutting in the process -- think whole birds and drumsticks instead of skinless breast fillets. Deena Shanker, Bloomberg.com, "Threat of Sick Workers at U.S. Meat Plants Forces Policy Changes," 10 May 2020 Good fish fillets or steaks should be shiny and bright, not gray or dry-looking. Stephanie Thurrott, NBC News, "How to buy and cook fish and seafood — and some tips and recipes to get you started," 4 Jan. 2020 Here, though, use catfish, tilapia or any kind of thin white fish fillets. Los Angeles Times, "The Laotian fish curry fit for royalty," 1 Oct. 2019 The collar refers to the section that begins directly behind the head and ends just behind the pectoral fin (right before the start of the fillet). Cosmo Genova, Field & Stream, "How to Cook Trout and Salmon Collars," 23 Apr. 2020 Take the fillets and put them in the pan with the olive oil and garlic (recipe can also be made without anchovies). Alisha Prakash, Travel + Leisure, "18 Italian Hotel Chefs Share Their Favorite Recipes to Help You Get a Taste of Italy at Home," 6 Apr. 2020 Shannon has always been cagey about how the fillets are prepared. Tim Carman, Washington Post, "After 30 years, Horace & Dickie’s is saying goodbye to a neighborhood its owner no longer recognizes," 27 Feb. 2020 Slide the fillets out of the bag onto a baking sheet. Jamie Carlson, Outdoor Life, "5 Walleye Recipes That Don’t Involve Frying," 12 Feb. 2020 The dish is prepared by first soaking the fillets in water for at least 48 hours to give the fish a remarkably tender texture that resembles crab meat. Laura Jung, Harper's BAZAAR, "72 Hours in Spanish Wine Country," 18 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Instead of filleting and moving on, take the time to explain each part and its function. Popular Science, "Eleven outdoor skills to teach your kids—or yourself," 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, "9 Milwaukee fish fries that will make Lent something special," 24 Feb. 2020 Then fillet and debone the fish, and remove the skin. Cosmo Genova, Field & Stream, "How to Cook Lake Trout Chowder," 28 Apr. 2020 Instead of filleting and moving on, take the time to explain each part and its function. Popular Science, "Eleven outdoor skills to teach your kids—or yourself," 1 Apr. 2020 Instead of filleting and moving on, take the time to explain each part and its function. Christine Peterson, Outdoor Life, "11 Outdoor Skills You Can Teach Your Child," 24 Mar. 2020 To serve, pour the sauce onto a plate and lay a walleye fillet on top. Jamie Carlson, Outdoor Life, "5 Walleye Recipes That Don’t Involve Frying," 12 Feb. 2020 It is surgically filleted Wagyu beef and bright bags of shrimp chips. Los Angeles Times, "We’re big fans of these 11 supermarkets," 26 Feb. 2020 Here’s a linguini with salmon cream sauce recipe that makes use of the leftover, extra meat after filleting a fish. Matthew Every, Outdoor Life, "8 Wild Recipes to Recreate the First Thanksgiving," 26 Nov. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of fillet

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fillet

Time Traveler for fillet

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for fillet

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fillet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fillet. Accessed 27 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fillet

fillet

noun
How to pronounce fillet (audio) How to pronounce fillet (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fillet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a piece or slice of boneless meat or fish

fillet

verb
How to pronounce fillet (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fillet (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cut (meat or fish) into fillets

fillet

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

Kids Definition of fillet

: a piece of boneless meat or fish

fillet

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

Medical Definition of fillet

: a band of anatomical fibers specifically : lemniscus

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on fillet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fillet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fillet

Spanish Central: Translation of fillet

Nglish: Translation of fillet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fillet

Comments on fillet

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!