- a very fine thread or threadlike structure; a fiber or fibril: filaments of gold.
- a single fibril of natural or synthetic textile fiber, of indefinite length, sometimes several miles long.
- a long slender cell or series of attached cells, as in some algae and fungi.
- Botany. the stalklike portion of a stamen, supporting the anther.
- Ornithology. the barb of a down feather.
- (in a light bulb or other incandescent lamp) the threadlike conductor, often of tungsten, in the bulb that is heated to incandescence by the passage of current.
- Electronics. the heating element (sometimes also acting as a cathode) of a vacuum tube, resembling the filament in an incandescent bulb.
- Astronomy. a solar prominence, as viewed within the sun's limb.
Origin of filament
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for filament
The B voltage gives the plate a positive charge to attract electrons from the filament.
When you connect the A battery, the filament of the tube is heated to release negatively charged electrons.
Electrons travel through the partial vacuum inside the tube, flowing from the filament to the positively charged plate.
Many tubes also have small structures, known as grids, between the filament and the plate.
The filament current of an audion-bulb averages about one ampere.
Close to the filament is a graphite disk which serves as one of the electrodes.
She had no remains of tenderness left for him: not a filament.Love and Lucy
Maurice Henry Hewlett
There is no oxygen to combine with the filament; so the lamp does not burn out.
When the filament breaks, an electric lamp will no longer glow.
- the thin wire, usually tungsten, inside a light bulb that emits light when heated to incandescence by an electric current
- electronics a high-resistance wire or ribbon, forming the cathode in some valves
- a single strand of a natural or synthetic fibre; fibril
- the stalk of a stamen
- any of the long slender chains of cells into which some algae and fungi are divided
- ornithol the barb of a down feather
- anatomy any slender structure or part, such as the tail of a spermatozoon; filum
- a long structure of relatively cool material in the solar corona
- a long large-scale cluster of galaxies
C16: from New Latin fīlāmentum, from Medieval Latin fīlāre to spin, from Latin fīlum thread
Word Origin and History for filament
1590s, from Modern Latin filamentum, from Late Latin filare "to spin, draw out in a long line," from Latin filum "thread" (see file (v.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A fibril, fine fiber, or threadlike structure.
- A fine or slender thread, wire, or fiber.
- The part of a stamen that supports the anther of a flower; the stalk of a stamen. See more at flower.
- A fine wire that gives off radiation when an electric current is passed through it, usually to provide light, as in an incandescent bulb, or to provide heat, as in a vacuum tube.
- A wire that acts as the cathode in some electron tubes when it is heated with an electric current.
- Any of the dark, sinuous lines visible through certain filters on the disk of the Sun. Filaments are solar prominences that are viewed against the solar surface rather than being silhouetted along the outer edges of the disk. See more at prominence.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.