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  1. delicate ornamental work of fine silver, gold, or other metal wires, especially lacy jewelers' work of scrolls and arabesques.
  2. anything very delicate or fanciful: a filigree of frost.
  1. composed of or resembling filigree.
verb (used with object), fil·i·greed, fil·i·gree·ing.
  1. to adorn with or form into filigree.

Origin of filigree

1685–95; earlier filigreen, variant of filigrain Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for filigree

lattice, interlace, ornamentation, fretwork, lacework, tracery

Examples from the Web for filigree

Historical Examples of filigree

British Dictionary definitions for filigree


filagree or fillagree

  1. delicate ornamental work of twisted gold, silver, or other wire
  2. any fanciful delicate ornamentation
  1. made of or as if with filigree
verb -grees, -greeing or -greed
  1. (tr) to decorate with or as if with filigree
Derived Formsfiligreed, adjective

Word Origin for filigree

C17: from earlier filigreen, from French filigrane, from Latin fīlum thread + grānum grain
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 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