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[fahy-ber] /ˈfaɪ bər/
a fine, threadlike piece, as of cotton, jute, or asbestos.
a slender filament:
a fiber of platinum.
filaments collectively.
matter or material composed of filaments:
a plastic fiber.
something resembling a filament.
an essential character, quality, or strength:
people of strong moral fiber.
  1. filamentous matter from the bast tissue or other parts of plants, used for industrial purposes.
  2. a slender, threadlike root of a plant.
  3. a slender, tapered cell which, with like cells, serves to strengthen tissue.
Anatomy, Zoology. a slender, threadlike element or cell, as of nerve, muscle, or connective tissue.
Nutrition.. Also called bulk, dietary fiber, roughage.
  1. the structural part of plants and plant products that consists of carbohydrates, as cellulose and pectin, that are wholly or partially indigestible and when eaten stimulate peristalsis in the intestine.
  2. food containing a high amount of such carbohydrates, as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Chemistry, vulcanized fiber.
Optics. optical fiber.
Also, especially British, fibre.
Origin of fiber
1350-1400; 1970-75 for def 9; Middle English fibre (< Middle French) < Latin fibra filament
Related forms
fiberless, adjective
interfiber, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fiber
  • The fiber material is used commonly in the manufacture of fiber optics.
  • You've heard it now for years: fiber is good for you.
  • fiber is a type of carbohydrate that serves several important functions in the human body.
  • Then-since welding isn't possible-the joints are wrapped with fiber.
  • AS the field of fiber art receives increased recognition, some of its craftsmen are widening their horizons.
  • The strength and elasticity of spider silk makes it the toughest natural fiber.
  • Extensions to fiber optics will supply network capacity that borders on the infinite.
  • Enjoy quilts and the stories they tell in vibrant fiber exhibits of contemporary and traditional quilts.
  • These products reduce the impact of logging by blending plastic with wood fiber.
  • Currently the bits in data, audio or video traffic are sent through fiber optic cables as brief pulses of light.
British Dictionary definitions for fiber


the usual US spelling of fibre


a natural or synthetic filament that may be spun into yarn, such as cotton or nylon
cloth or other material made from such yarn
a long fine continuous thread or filament
the structure of any material or substance made of or as if of fibres; texture
essential substance or nature: all the fibres of his being were stirred
strength of character (esp in the phrase moral fibre)
  1. a narrow elongated thick-walled cell: a constituent of sclerenchyma tissue
  2. such tissue extracted from flax, hemp, etc, used to make linen, rope, etc
  3. a very small root or twig
(anatomy) any thread-shaped structure, such as a nerve fibre
Derived Forms
fibred, (US) fibered, adjective
fibreless, (US) fiberless, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin fibra filament, entrails
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
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Word Origin and History for fiber

1530s, from French fibre (14c.), from Latin fibra "a fiber, filament," of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Latin filum "thread," or from root of findere "to split." Fiberboard is from 1897; Fiberglas is 1937, U.S. registered trademark name; and fiber optics is from 1956.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fiber in Medicine

fiber fi·ber (fī'bər)

  1. A slender thread or filament.

  2. Extracellular filamentous structures such as collagenic or elastic connective tissue fibers.

  3. The nerve cell axon with its glial envelope.

  4. An elongated threadlike cell, such as a muscle cell or one of the epithelial cells of the lens of the eye.

  5. Coarse, indigestible plant matter, consisting primarily of polysaccharides such as cellulose, that when eaten stimulates intestinal peristalsis. Also called roughage.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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fiber in Science
  1. The parts of grains, fruits, and vegetables that contain cellulose and are not digested by the body. Fiber helps the intestines absorb water, which increases the bulk of the stool and causes it to move more quickly through the colon.

  2. One of the elongated, thick-walled cells, often occurring in bundles, that give strength and support to tissue in vascular plants. Fibers are one type of sclerenchyma cell.

  3. Any of the elongated cells of skeletal or cardiac muscle, made up of slender threadlike structures called myofibrils.

  4. The axon of a neuron.

fibrous adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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