Check out new words added to


[fil-it; usually fi-ley for 1, 10] /ˈfɪl ɪt; usually fɪˈleɪ for 1, 10/
  1. a boneless cut or slice of meat or fish, especially the beef tenderloin.
  2. a piece of veal or other meat boned, rolled, and tied for roasting.
a narrow band of ribbon or the like worn around the head, usually as an ornament; headband.
any narrow strip, as wood or metal.
a strip of any material used for binding.
  1. a decorative line impressed on a book cover, usually at the top and bottom of the back.
  2. a rolling tool for impressing such lines.
  1. Also called list. a narrow flat molding or area, raised or sunk between larger moldings or areas.
  2. a narrow portion of the surface of a column left between adjoining flutes.
Anatomy, lemniscus.
a raised rim or ridge, as a ring on the muzzle of a gun.
Metallurgy. a concave strip forming a rounded interior angle in a foundry pattern.
verb (used with object)
  1. to cut or prepare (meat or fish) as a fillet.
  2. to cut fillets from.
to bind or adorn with or as if with a fillet.
Machinery. to round off (an interior angle) with a fillet.
Also, filet (for defs 1, 10).
Origin of fillet
1300-50; Middle English filet < Anglo-French, Middle French, equivalent to fil thread + -et -et Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for fillet
  • Susan rummages around for a cod and cuts off a fillet.
  • Those who catch their own can have vendors fillet and wrap the fish.
  • The researchers' approach is to technically fillet systems and then suggest ingenious but pragmatic solutions.
  • Slide a whole salmon fillet onto the grill, along with vegetable skewers.
  • If the fillet is to be cooked on a hot clean grill, place the fillet on the grill.
  • fillet steaks were sliced from the spine and the bones were smashed to get out the marrow.
  • Run the fingers lengthwise down the center of each fillet.
  • Cut and stack each fish fillet as needed to fit at the base of a leaf, leaving enough leaf open to enclose the fish.
  • Roll trout fillet over the mousse, stand it up and smooth the mousse on top.
  • What you are served is a fillet of white fish in a moat of white broth in a white bowl.
British Dictionary definitions for fillet


  1. Also called fillet steak. a strip of boneless meat, esp the undercut of a sirloin of beef
  2. the boned side of a fish
  3. the white meat of breast and wing of a chicken
a narrow strip of any material
a thin strip of ribbon, lace, etc, worn in the hair or around the neck
a narrow flat moulding, esp one between other mouldings
a narrow band between two adjacent flutings on the shaft of a column
Also called fillet weld. a narrow strip of welded metal of approximately triangular cross-section used to join steel members at right angles
(heraldry) a horizontal division of a shield, one quarter of the depth of the chief
Also called listel, list. the top member of a cornice
(anatomy) a band of sensory nerve fibres in the brain connected to the thalamus Technical name lemniscus
  1. a narrow decorative line, impressed on the cover of a book
  2. a wheel tool used to impress such lines
another name for fairing1
verb (transitive) -lets, -leting, -leted
to cut or prepare (meat or fish) as a fillet
to cut fillets from (meat or fish)
(anatomy) to surgically remove a bone from (part of the body) so that only soft tissue remains
to bind or decorate with or as if with a fillet
Also (for senses 1–3) filet
Word Origin
C14: from Old French filet, from fil thread, from Latin fīlum
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for fillet

early 14c., "headband," from Old French filet (12c.) "thread, filament; strip, ligament," diminutive of fil "thread" (see file (v.)). Sense of "cut of meat or fish" is from late 14c., apparently so called because it was prepared by being tied up with a string. As a verb, from c.1600, "to bind with a narrow band;" meaning "to cut in fillets" is from 1846. Related: Filleted; filleting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
fillet in Medicine

fillet fil·let (fĭl'ĭt)

  1. A loop of cord or tape used for making traction on a part of the fetus.

  2. A loop-shaped band of fibers, especially the lemniscus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for fillet

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for fillet

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with fillet