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[fil-i-gree] /ˈfɪl ɪˌgri/
delicate ornamental work of fine silver, gold, or other metal wires, especially lacy jewelers' work of scrolls and arabesques.
anything very delicate or fanciful:
a filigree of frost.
composed of or resembling filigree.
verb (used with object), filigreed, filigreeing.
to adorn with or form into filigree.
Origin of filigree
1685-95; earlier filigreen, variant of filigrain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for filigree
Historical Examples
  • Some of our filigree glass, it is true, became too elaborate to be beautiful.

    The Story of Glass Sara Ware Bassett
  • Those spindles are Persian, while the filigree is more Byzantine than anything else.

  • He remembered the motto curiously worked in filigree of gold.

    Sir Nigel Arthur Conan Doyle
  • He handed her the filigree necklace she had admired so much.

    The Secret of Casa Grande Helen Randolph
  • While she was still admiring it, Peggy picked up the filigree necklace.

    The Secret of Casa Grande Helen Randolph
  • The Indian filigree work is the finest and cheapest in the world.

  • There are several methods of preparing the wire called “filigree.”

  • This method is generally in vogue with most filigree workers.

  • It consists of a disc of silver 4½ inches in diameter, enriched with filigree.

    Jewellery H. Clifford Smith,
  • It is adorned with bosses of filigree alternating with pyramidal projections.

    Jewellery H. Clifford Smith,
British Dictionary definitions for filigree


delicate ornamental work of twisted gold, silver, or other wire
any fanciful delicate ornamentation
made of or as if with filigree
verb -grees, -greeing, -greed
(transitive) to decorate with or as if with filigree
Derived Forms
filigreed, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from earlier filigreen, from French filigrane, from Latin fīlum thread + grānumgrain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for filigree

1690s, shortening of filigreen (1660s), from French filigrane "filigree" (17c.), from Italian filigrana, from Latin filum "thread" (see file (v.)) + granum "grain" (see corn (n.1)). Related: Filigreed.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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