Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[fil-uh p] /ˈfɪl əp/
verb (used with object)
to strike with the nail of a finger snapped from the end of the thumb.
to tap or strike smartly.
to drive by or as by a fillip:
Anticipation filliped his passion.
verb (used without object)
to make a fillip with the fingers.
an act or instance of filliping; a smart tap or stroke.
anything that tends to rouse, excite, or revive; a stimulus:
Praise is an excellent fillip for waning ambition.
Origin of fillip
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English philippe to make a signal or sound with thumb and right forefinger; expressive word of uncertain orig; cf. flip1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for fillip
Historical Examples
  • But he had to make Him give a fillip to set the world in motion; beyond this, he has no further need of God.

    Pascal's Penses Blaise Pascal
  • He has given a fillip to existence, loath as I am to acknowledge it.

    The Prairie Mother Arthur Stringer
  • He likened it to the shass caffy of Mr. Henry Foker—the fillip at the end of the long banquet of life.

  • Corrupting a Legislature is not something a man may do with a fillip of his finger and thumb.

    Frenzied Finance Thomas W. Lawson
  • Of all who had broken bread with the ruined man, there were not two who cared a fillip whether he were living or dead.

  • She knew that it wanted but this fillip to carry her through.

    The Merry-Go-Round Carl Van Vechten
  • I tell you this, sir: I 'd rather a man would give me a fillip on the nose than talk to me about luck.

  • Eat, drink, play; all other human joys are not worth a fillip.'

  • Her face was a little flat, but it was young, and the scar gave it just the fillip it needed.

    The Night of the Long Knives Fritz Reuter Leiber
  • A fillip to the wheel of her fate was given as she and Ellis went up the hill.

    The Barrier Allen French
British Dictionary definitions for fillip


something that adds stimulation or enjoyment
the action of holding a finger towards the palm with the thumb and suddenly releasing it outwards to produce a snapping sound
a quick blow or tap made by a finger snapped in this way
(transitive) to stimulate or excite
(transitive) to strike or project sharply with a fillip
(intransitive) to make a fillip
Word Origin
C15 philippe, of imitative origin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for fillip

mid-15c., philippen "to flip something with the fingers, snap the fingers," possibly of imitative origin. As a noun, from 1520s, fyllippe.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for fillip

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for fillip

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for fillip