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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On top of that, the UV-C light inside the unit kills germs on the HEPA filter. Maren Estrada, BGR, "TruSens’ smart Wi-Fi air purifier is like nothing you’ve seen before, and it’s now on Amazon," 26 Apr. 2021 Put differently, take counsel earnestly, but remember to be the final filter through which all advice comes. Magnus Johnson, Forbes, "Top Three Ways To Stop Following And Start Leading," 21 Apr. 2021 If your pool collects a lot of leaves, the Polaris automatic pool cleaner is an excellent choice thanks to its roomy filter bag. Bridget Degnan, Better Homes & Gardens, "The 7 Best Pool Cleaners for Every Type of Pool and Budget," 20 Apr. 2021 The brand makes face milks with and without filter pockets. Zoe Malin, NBC News, "7 silk face masks that are good for your skin and for staying safe," 9 Apr. 2021 Founder Melissa Hwang’s father, who had immigrated to the United States from Taiwan in 1977, partnered with a scientist to develop the nanofiber membrane filter used in Happy Masks today. Noelle Ike, CNN Underscored, "34 Asian-owned brands to shop for all your everyday essentials," 8 Apr. 2021 Be sure to remove the filter from the vacuum and clean the container. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Speak clearly," 5 Apr. 2021 The Delcath device, called Hepzato, consists of clamps, tubes, and a filter that isolate a patient’s liver from the rest of the bloodstream. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "Data for Delcath’s liver tumor device are positive, but lingering questions cloud path to approval," 3 Apr. 2021 But then, the screen cuts to a robotic filter representing Pujols’ point-of-view. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Angels’ Albert Pujols knows his legacy is ‘more than just baseball’," 1 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb High pressure will bring sunshine Saturday morning, then some cloudiness will filter into the state during the midday and afternoon hours. courant.com, "Mild temps with highs in the 60s and 70s," 23 Apr. 2021 The coldest air will filter down from the north late tonight. Dallas News, "Record cold tonight," 20 Apr. 2021 Users on the platform will then be able to specifically filter by the attribute. Gene Marks, Forbes, "How To Actually Make Money On Clubhouse…And Other Small Business Tech News," 11 Apr. 2021 The first stands for Air Change per Hour, or the number of times per hour the purifier will filter all the air in a room. Michael Ray, chicagotribune.com, "Which air purifier is best for pet dander?," 2 Apr. 2021 The Coredy vacuum comes with several tools and accessories, like a water tank, mop cloths, an extra high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, and boundary strips. Christina Butan, PEOPLE.com, "PSA: This Top-Rated Robot Vacuum-Mop Is Secretly $100 Off on Amazon Right Now," 7 Apr. 2021 These findings will gradually filter out into the world’s markets, doubtless pushing more investors to divest. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "The Powerful New Financial Argument for Fossil-Fuel Divestment," 3 Apr. 2021 With 64 teams needing to filter through the Convention Center for daily testing, NCAA officials choreographed every step, including when each program is granted access to its hotel’s elevator. Greg Luca, San Antonio Express-News, "Success of NCAA women's tournament in San Antonio hinges on meticulous COVID-19 protocols," 20 Mar. 2021 If Democrats lower the exemption to $3 or $3.5 million, as has been floated, that urgency would filter down to a less affluent group of clients. Jason Bisnoff, Forbes, "Tax Hikes Are Coming. Here’s What Top Advisors Are Telling The Ultra Rich," 18 Mar. 2021

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.

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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, from Medieval Latin filtrum piece of felt used as a filter, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German filz felt — more at felt

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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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Statistics for filter

Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Filter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/filter. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for filter

filter

noun

English Language Learners Definition of filter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device that is used to remove something unwanted from a liquid or gas that passes through it
: a device that prevents some kinds of light, sound, electronic noises, etc., from passing through
computers : software that prevents someone from looking at or receiving particular kinds of material through the Internet

filter

verb

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

: to pass (something, such as a gas or liquid) through a filter to remove something unwanted
: to remove (something unwanted) by using a filter
: to move through or into something in small amounts or in a gradual way

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

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Comments on filter

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