[ silk ]
/ sɪlk /
the soft, lustrous fiber obtained as a filament from the cocoon of the silkworm.
thread made from this fiber.
cloth made from this fiber.
a garment of this cloth.
a gown of such material worn distinctively by a King's or Queen's Counsel at the English bar.
silks, the blouse and peaked cap, considered together, worn by a jockey or sulky driver in a race.
Informal. a parachute, especially one opened aloft.
any fiber or filamentous matter resembling silk, as a filament produced by certain spiders, the thread of a mollusk, or the like.
the hairlike styles on an ear of corn.
- a King's or Queen's Counsel.
- any barrister of high rank.
made of silk.
resembling silk; silky.
of or relating to silk.
verb (used without object)
(of corn) to be in the course of developing silk.
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Idioms for silk
hit the silk, Slang. to parachute from an aircraft; bail out.
take silk, British. to become a Queen's or King's Counsel.
Origin of silk
before 900; Middle English (noun); Old English sioloc, seol(o)c (cognate with Old Norse silki), by uncertain transmission < Greek sērikón silk, noun use of neuter of sērikós silken, literally, Chinese, derivative of Sêres the Chinese (Russian shëlk, OPruss silkas (genitive) “silk” appear to be < Gmc); cf. seric-
OTHER WORDS FROM silksilk·like, adjectivehalf-silk, adjective
Words nearby silk
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for silking
/ (sɪlk) /
the very fine soft lustrous fibre produced by a silkworm to make its cocoon
- thread or fabric made from this fibre
- (as modifier)a silk dress
a garment made of this
a very fine fibre produced by a spider to build its web, nest, or cocoon
the tuft of long fine styles on an ear of maize
- the gown worn by a Queen's (or King's) Counsel
- informal a Queen's (or King's) Counsel
- take silk to become a Queen's (or King's) Counsel
(intr) US and Canadian (of maize) to develop long hairlike styles
Derived forms of silksilklike, adjective
Word Origin for silk
Old English sioluc; compare Old Norse silki, Greek sērikon, Korean sir; all ultimately from Chinese ssǔ silk
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
Scientific definitions for silking
[ sĭlk ]
A fiber produced by silkworms to form cocoons. Silk is strong, flexible, and fibrous, and is essentially a long continuous strand of protein. It is widely used to make thread and fabric.
A substance similar to the silk of the silkworm but produced by other insect larvae or by spiders to spin webs.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Idioms and Phrases with silking
see can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear; smooth as silk.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.