- 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.
- 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
1425–75; late Middle English philippe to make a signal or sound with thumb and right forefinger; expressive word of uncertain orig; cf. flip1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for fillip
And doubtless some break in the monotony gives a fillip of pleasure.Hiero
It was just a fillip to my enjoyment, as I looked on and off my page alternately.Daisy
He has given a fillip to existence, loath as I am to acknowledge it.The Prairie Mother
Corrupting a Legislature is not something a man may do with a fillip of his finger and thumb.Frenzied Finance
Thomas W. Lawson
She knew that it wanted but this fillip to carry her through.The Merry-Go-Round
Carl Van Vechten
- 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
- (tr) to stimulate or excite
- (tr) to strike or project sharply with a fillip
- (intr) to make a fillip
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
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