silk·​en | \ ˈsil-kən How to pronounce silken (audio) \

Definition of silken

1 : made or consisting of silk
2 : resembling silk: such as
a : soft, lustrous
b(1) : agreeably smooth : harmonious a silken voice
3a : dressed in silk silken ankles
b : having a richly luxurious quality the same silken surroundings encountered at the restaurant's far more expensive evening meal— Elaine Tait

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for silken


cottony, downy, satin, satiny, silklike, silky, soft, velvetlike, velvety


coarse, harsh, rough, scratchy

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of silken in a Sentence

the silken texture of the synthetic fabric she was unaccustomed to living in such silken surroundings

Recent Examples on the Web

The techniques modify the sweetness, acidity and texture of the fruit for results that range from tart with a slight crunchy pop to syruplike and silken. Paul Stephen,, "How to celebrate the savory side of grapes and cook with them," 26 June 2019 Hannah shows up in silken PJs with shoulder pads for some reason and steals Luke P. away first thing to get what the men presume to be a lecture out of the way first. Joyce Chen,, "The Bachelorette Season 15, Episode 4 Recap: This Is The Luke P. Show Now," 5 June 2019 Popular dishes include yellowfin tuna with sea urchin and silken tofu or Champagne lobster with French toast and Sterling caviar. Sophie Davies, Condé Nast Traveler, "29 Best Restaurants in Sydney," 14 Mar. 2018 Jellied cranberry sauce goes through much the same process, but it is heavily strained, removing elements of nature — skin, seeds — that would impede its perfect, silken texture. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "Canned cranberry sauce, explained," 21 Nov. 2018 Visiting his son in prison, Leo is at his silken ease delivering the barest murmur of regret over Jack’s arrest for his mother’s murder, and noting that his crime was, of course, not surprising, given his delinquent nature. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘Ordeal by Innocence’ Review: A Suspect in the Family," 9 Aug. 2018 Even in pianissimo passagework high up in his instrument, Bell emphasized beauty of tone and silken legato line. Howard Reich,, "CSO at Ravinia review: Marin Alsop poetically launches Bernstein tribute," 13 July 2018 But her brilliant asides, combined with the silken movement of each testament’s ceding to the next, also give us the feeling of watching a deep, cold river. Joan Frank,, "‘Kudos,’ by Rachel Cusk," 6 July 2018 Some say she was strangled with a silken cord while praying, and others claim she was smothered between two feather mattresses. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Joanna of Naples," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'silken.' 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 silken

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about silken

Statistics for silken

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for silken

The first known use of silken was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for silken



English Language Learners Definition of silken

: made of silk or a cloth that is like silk
: smooth, soft, and shiny like silk
of food : smooth, soft, and rich


silk·​en | \ ˈsil-kən How to pronounce silken (audio) \

Kids Definition of silken

1 : made of or with silk a silken scarf
2 : having a soft and smooth look or feel silken hair

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on silken

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for silken

Spanish Central: Translation of silken

Nglish: Translation of silken for Spanish Speakers

Comments on silken

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


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

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

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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