floss

[ 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

floss·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for floss

British Dictionary definitions for floss

floss

/ (flɒs) /

noun

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

verb

(tr) to clean (between one's teeth) with dental floss

Word Origin for floss

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