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90s Slang You Should Know


[flaws, flos] /flɔs, flɒs/
noun, Also called floss silk (for defs 1, 3).
the cottony fiber yielded by the silk-cotton tree.
silk filaments with little or no twist, used in weaving as brocade or in embroidery.
any silky, filamentous matter, as the silk of corn.
verb (used without object)
to use dental floss on the teeth.
verb (used with object)
to clean (the teeth) with dental floss.
Origin of floss
1750-60; probably < French floche, as in soie floche floss silk, Old French flosche down, velvet pile (of uncertain origin)
Related forms
flosser, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for floss
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Again floss Dickerson dropped her trenchant personality into the breach.

  • You floss up to the tallest domino and give him a good time.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • floss and Carrots looked ready to cry, but nurse reassured them.

    "Carrots:" Mrs. Molesworth
  • I ventured to disagree with her, and to say that the Mill on the floss was my favorite.

  • The kerchief is made of fine Brussels net and the darning is done with India floss.

    The Art of Modern Lace Making The Butterick Publishing Co.
  • As for floss, Helen had already got a hold upon that young lady.

    The Girl from Sunset Ranch Amy Bell Marlowe
  • floss, left alone with her father, ventured on another appeal.

    "Carrots:" Mrs. Molesworth
  • His hair was long and curled at the ends, but it looked like floss silk.

    A Little Girl in Old New York Amanda Millie Douglas
British Dictionary definitions for floss


the mass of fine silky fibres obtained from cotton and similar plants
any similar fine silky material, such as the hairlike styles and stigmas of maize or the fibres prepared from silkworm cocoons
untwisted silk thread used in embroidery, etc
(transitive) to clean (between one's teeth) with dental floss
Word Origin
C18: perhaps from Old French flosche down
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 floss

"rough silk," 1759, perhaps from French floche "tuft of wool" (16c.), from Old French floc "tuft, lock," from Latin floccus "tuft of wool." Or from an unrecorded Old English or Old Norse word from the root found in Dutch flos "plush" (17c.). Cf. the surname Flossmonger, attested 1314, which might represent a direct borrowing from Scandinavian or Low German. In "The Mill on the Floss" the word is the proper name of a fictitious river in the English Midlands.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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