[ silk ]
/ sɪlk /



verb (used without object)

(of corn) to be in the course of developing silk.

Nearby words

  1. siliculose cataract,
  2. siliqua,
  3. silique,
  4. siliquose,
  5. siliquose cataract,
  6. silk cotton,
  7. silk gland,
  8. silk hat,
  9. silk oak,
  10. silk paper


    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-

Related formssilk·like, adjectivehalf-silk, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for silking


/ (sɪlk) /



(intr) US and Canadian (of maize) to develop long hairlike styles
Derived Formssilklike, 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

Word Origin and History for silking


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science 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.