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filigree

[fil-i-gree] /ˈfɪl ɪˌgri/
noun
1.
delicate ornamental work of fine silver, gold, or other metal wires, especially lacy jewelers' work of scrolls and arabesques.
2.
anything very delicate or fanciful:
a filigree of frost.
adjective
3.
composed of or resembling filigree.
verb (used with object), filigreed, filigreeing.
4.
to adorn with or form into filigree.
Origin of filigree
1685-1695
1685-95; earlier filigreen, variant of filigrain
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for filigree
  • To surf, a small verb lacking filigree or urgency, belongs to magical realism as much as to sport.
  • There are no statues, no elaborate filigree and few images.
  • It is honeyed, and has herbal notes and a filigree texture.
  • Squiggle lines everywhere giving a fussy, filigree effect.
  • To render their filigree and flounce, requires an adherence to form as elaborate and courtly as a sonnet.
  • Television keeps piling on more swirls, sprinkles and filigree.
  • Long tapers on every table and gold metal filigree wall sconces and chandeliers cast a soft glow.
  • Famous sculptors worked on the five-story structure, creating biblical scenes and depicting saints set among gold filigree.
  • And that leather trim will be laser-inscribed with filigree designs.
  • The vast filigree of epiphytes picks up and stores many nutrients that would otherwise float by on wind or wash away in runoff.
British Dictionary definitions for filigree

filigree

/ˈfɪlɪˌɡriː/
noun
1.
delicate ornamental work of twisted gold, silver, or other wire
2.
any fanciful delicate ornamentation
adjective
3.
made of or as if with filigree
verb -grees, -greeing, -greed
4.
(transitive) to decorate with or as if with filigree
Derived Forms
filigreed, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from earlier filigreen, from French filigrane, from Latin fīlum thread + grānumgrain
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 filigree
n.

1690s, shortening of filigreen (1660s), from French filigrane "filigree" (17c.), from Italian filigrana, from Latin filum "thread" (see file (v.)) + granum "grain" (see corn (n.1)). Related: Filigreed.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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