filter

noun
fil·​ter | \ ˈfil-tər How to pronounce filter (audio) \

Definition of filter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a porous article or mass (as of paper or sand) through which a gas or liquid is passed to separate out matter in suspension
b : an apparatus containing a filter medium
2a : a device or material for suppressing or minimizing waves or oscillations of certain frequencies (as of electricity, light, or sound)
b : a transparent material (such as colored glass) that absorbs light of certain wavelengths or colors selectively and is used for modifying light that reaches a sensitized photographic material

called also color filter

3 : something that has the effect of a filter (as by holding back elements or modifying the appearance of something) his work is too often viewed through the filter of race— Brent Staples
4 : software for sorting or blocking access to certain online material

filter

verb
filtered; filtering\ ˈfil-​t(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce filter (audio) \

Definition of filter (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to subject to the action of a filter
2 : to remove by means of a filter

intransitive verb

1 : to pass or move through or as if through a filter
2 : to come or go in small units over a period of time people began filtering in

Synonyms for filter

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of filter in a Sentence

Noun She smokes cigarettes with filters. He placed a red filter on the camera lens. digital filters that stop high-frequency sounds Verb They've begun filtering their water to remove impurities. a device that filters impurities from water sunglasses that filter ultraviolet light Sunlight filtered through the leaves. His ideas have filtered down to his children. The crowd filtered into the arena. Early election returns have begun to filter in. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Our engineers also like the washable filter screen, making the unit a good fit for allergy sufferers. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, 6 May 2022 This pack also features an advanced filter system that improves the quality of air in the cabin and a sensor that monitors the outside environment. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 4 May 2022 Mari partnered with water filter company Hydroviv to donate and distribute her very own high-capacity lead-removal filters to families and child-centric organizations in Flint. Paul Grein, Billboard, 4 May 2022 Every online session begins by listing opponents' usernames, and Nintendo's word filter still lets through questionable words and letter combinations. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 3 May 2022 National Republican groups filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Google mail’s spam filter disproportionately sent GOP fundraising pitches to spam. NBC News, 28 Apr. 2022 HappyDay masks are highly ranked because they are made with four layers of filter material to block at least 94% of fine particles. Laura Fisher, Health.com, 25 Apr. 2022 Water pressure from the S550e is excellent (even with in-line heating and water filter). Anthony Karcz, Forbes, 24 Apr. 2022 On the back is a small hatch that can be removed, giving access to the device’s air filter. Maren Estrada, BGR, 23 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb My Costa Lido pair handled the day with ease thanks to protective side shields and lenses that filter any reflective glare. J.d. Simkins, Sunset Magazine, 4 May 2022 With little visibility over how higher interest rates will filter through the wider economy, money managers say trading has been thin and prone to whipsaw moves in both directions. Joe Wallace, WSJ, 28 Apr. 2022 Musk’s commentary fails to convey the sheer magnitude of today’s social media algorithms, which filter immense amounts of consumers’ personal data and usage habits through overlapping webs of code and machine learning systems. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 18 Apr. 2022 Ruelas said the city should be responsible for cleaning out smaller storm drains that eventually filter into the Tijuana River canal. Wendy Fry, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Apr. 2022 The designers intend for the city to grow food, produce solar energy and collect and filter fresh water. NBC News, 26 Apr. 2022 Just filter your results to search vintage only and you’ll be presented with pages upon pages of retro pieces. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, 26 Apr. 2022 This is because masks can filter any respiratory droplets and block any particles that may have escaped from the people around you. Alyssa Hui, Health.com, 22 Apr. 2022 There are also affiliate marketing networks that aggregate and filter the best publishers in specific markets to deliver measurable results for advertisers. Nicky Senyard, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of filter

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1576, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for filter

Noun

Middle English filtre "felt, felt carpet, piece of felt used as a filter," borrowed from Medieval Latin filtrum "felt cloth, cover or blanket of felt, piece of felt used as a filter," borrowed from *filtir (going back to *filtizō) in a West Germanic language, plural of *filt-, *felt- "felted cloth" — more at felt entry 1

Verb

derivative of filter entry 1

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Time Traveler for filter

Time Traveler

The first known use of filter was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near filter

fils

filter

filterable

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Statistics for filter

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Filter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/filter. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for filter

filter

noun
fil·​ter | \ ˈfil-tər How to pronounce filter (audio) \

Kids Definition of filter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a device or a mass of material (as sand or paper) with tiny openings through which a gas or liquid is passed to remove something The filter removes dust from the air.
2 : a transparent material that absorbs light of some colors and is used for changing light (as in photography)

filter

verb
filtered; filtering

Kids Definition of filter (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to pass through a filter filter water
2 : to remove by means of a filter Sand helps filter impurities from water.

filter

noun
fil·​ter | \ ˈfil-tər How to pronounce filter (audio) \

Medical Definition of filter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a porous article or mass (as of paper or sand) through which a gas or liquid is passed to separate out matter in suspension
2 : an apparatus containing a filter medium
3a : a device or material for suppressing or minimizing waves or oscillations of certain frequencies (as of electricity, light, or sound)
b : a transparent material (as colored glass) that absorbs light of certain wavelengths or colors selectively and is used for modifying light that reaches a sensitized photographic material

called also color filter

filter

verb
filtered; filtering\ -​t(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce filter (audio) \

Medical Definition of filter (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to subject to the action of a filter
2 : to remove by means of a filter

intransitive verb

: to pass or move through or as if through a filter

More from Merriam-Webster on filter

Nglish: Translation of filter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of filter for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about filter

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