fil·​ly ˈfi-lē How to pronounce filly (audio)
plural fillies
: a young female horse usually of less than four years
: a young woman : girl

Example Sentences

she's still a filly, so she has plenty of time to decide what she wants to do in life
Recent Examples on the Web The Preakness Stakes will be contested for the l47th time, and around 6 p.m. CDT Saturday, a colt, a filly or a gelding will be the winner of one of the United States’ most prestigious thoroughbred events. Mark Inabinett |, al, 16 May 2022 Will Take Charge and 2014 2-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi. Arkansas Online, 13 Oct. 2022 Third choice Jiggy Jog S, the other filly in the race, finished fourth. Tom Canavan,, 6 Aug. 2022 Going Global, the top 3-year-old filly at Del Mar in 2021, makes her 2022 seaside debut today in one of two Grade II stakes on the 10-race card. San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Aug. 2022 Dating to 1936, when Holl Image prevailed for a $5,000 purse, the Derby this year has produced winners of two other Grade 1s, Cyberknife in the Haskell last weekend and third-place finisher Secret Oath, a filly, the Kentucky Oaks May 6. Arkansas Online, 29 July 2022 There is a filly, Nest, who hopes to become the fourth female winner. John Cherwaspecial Contributor, Los Angeles Times, 10 June 2022 Lukas also won the 1984 Arkansas Derby with another filly, Althea. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, 1 Apr. 2022 As a filly, Nest will carry 121 pounds in Saturday’s race. Mark Inabinett |, al, 11 June 2022 See More

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

Word History


Middle English fyly, from Old Norse fylja; akin to Old English fola foal

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of filly was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near filly

Cite this Entry

“Filly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



fil·​ly ˈfil-ē How to pronounce filly (audio)
plural fillies
: a young female horse usually less than four years old

More from Merriam-Webster on filly

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.