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[fil-uh p] /ˈfɪl əp/
verb (used with object)
to strike with the nail of a finger snapped from the end of the thumb.
to tap or strike smartly.
to drive by or as by a fillip:
Anticipation filliped his passion.
verb (used without object)
to make a fillip with the fingers.
an act or instance of filliping; a smart tap or stroke.
anything that tends to rouse, excite, or revive; a stimulus:
Praise is an excellent fillip for waning ambition.
Origin of fillip
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English philippe to make a signal or sound with thumb and right forefinger; expressive word of uncertain orig; cf. flip1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fillip
  • He proposed that all the visible material in the cluster was a mere fillip.
  • Early automobiles often included a buggy-whip holder on the dashboard-a useless fillip that designers couldn't bear to part with.
  • Anyway, that's a historical fillip to whet your attention.
  • And rebuilding after the floods and tornadoes may deliver a fillip in the second half of the year.
  • White sands and clear waters have since spurred a tourist boom, with an added fillip from offshore finance.
  • Yet despite that fillip, the weak economies may continue to flounder.
  • The cost of many gadgets is falling fast, giving another fillip to consumption.
  • Despite the fillip from the temporary reduction in value-added tax, consumer spending will fall sharply.
  • As confidence returns, even a small reversal in this trend would give spending a fillip.
  • The index gives a fillip to several post-conflict countries.
British Dictionary definitions for fillip


something that adds stimulation or enjoyment
the action of holding a finger towards the palm with the thumb and suddenly releasing it outwards to produce a snapping sound
a quick blow or tap made by a finger snapped in this way
(transitive) to stimulate or excite
(transitive) to strike or project sharply with a fillip
(intransitive) to make a fillip
Word Origin
C15 philippe, of imitative origin
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 fillip

mid-15c., philippen "to flip something with the fingers, snap the fingers," possibly of imitative origin. As a noun, from 1520s, fyllippe.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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