[ 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.


How Hip Is Your Lingo? Take Our Slang Quiz!
If you aren’t already skilled in slang, then this quiz can get you up to speed in no time!
Question 1 of 11
OK Boomer can be perceived as pejorative, but it is mostly considered to be _____

Origin of floss

1750–60; probably < French floche, as in soie floche floss silk, Old French flosche down, velvet pile (of uncertain origin)


floss·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for floss

British Dictionary definitions for floss

/ (flɒs) /


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


(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