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.
filamentous matter from the bast tissue or other parts of plants, used for industrial purposes.
a slender, threadlike root of a plant.
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.
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.
food containing a high amount of such carbohydrates, as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Chemistry, vulcanized fiber.
Optics. optical fiber.
Also, especially British, fibre.

1350–1400; 1970–75 for def 9; Middle English fibre (< Middle French) < Latin fibra filament

fiberless, adjective
interfiber, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fiber (ˈfaɪbə)
the usual US spelling of fibre

fibre or fiber (ˈfaɪbə)
1.  a natural or synthetic filament that may be spun into yarn, such as cotton or nylon
2.  cloth or other material made from such yarn
3.  a long fine continuous thread or filament
4.  the structure of any material or substance made of or as if of fibres; texture
5.  essential substance or nature: all the fibres of his being were stirred
6.  strength of character (esp in the phrase moral fibre)
7.  See dietary fibre
8.  botany
 a.  a narrow elongated thick-walled cell: a constituent of sclerenchyma tissue
 b.  such tissue extracted from flax, hemp, etc, used to make linen, rope, etc
 c.  a very small root or twig
9.  anatomy any thread-shaped structure, such as a nerve fibre
[C14: from Latin fibra filament, entrails]
fiber or fiber
[C14: from Latin fibra filament, entrails]
'fibred or fiber
'fibered or fiber
'fibreless or fiber
'fiberless or fiber

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1530s, from Fr. fibre, from O.Fr. fibre, from L. fibra "a fiber, filament," of uncertain origin, perhaps related to L. 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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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
fiber   (fī'bər)  Pronunciation Key 
  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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