Today's Word of the Day means...


[silk] /sɪlk/
the soft, lustrous fiber obtained as a filament from the cocoon of the silkworm.
thread made from this fiber.
cloth made from this fiber.
a garment of this cloth.
a gown of such material worn distinctively by a King's or Queen's Counsel at the English bar.
silks, the blouse and peaked cap, considered together, worn by a jockey or sulky driver in a race.
Informal. a parachute, especially one opened aloft.
any fiber or filamentous matter resembling silk, as a filament produced by certain spiders, the thread of a mollusk, or the like.
the hairlike styles on an ear of corn.
British Informal.
  1. a King's or Queen's Counsel.
  2. any barrister of high rank.
made of silk.
resembling silk; silky.
of or pertaining to silk.
verb (used without object)
(of corn) to be in the course of developing silk.
hit the silk, Slang. to parachute from an aircraft; bail out.
take silk, British. to become a Queen's or King's Counsel.
before 900; Middle English (noun); Old English sioloc, seol(o)c (cognate with Old Norse silki), by uncertain transmission < Greek sērikón silk, noun use of neuter of sērikós silken, literally, Chinese, derivative of Sêres the Chinese (Russian shëlk, OPruss silkas (genitive) “silk” appear to be < Gmc); cf. seric-
Related forms
silklike, adjective
half-silk, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for silks
  • Wild silks also tend to be more difficult to dye than silk from the cultivated silkworm.
  • There has been some research into other silks, which differ at the molecular level.
British Dictionary definitions for silks


the very fine soft lustrous fibre produced by a silkworm to make its cocoon
  1. thread or fabric made from this fibre
  2. (as modifier) a silk dress
a garment made of this
a very fine fibre produced by a spider to build its web, nest, or cocoon
the tuft of long fine styles on an ear of maize
  1. the gown worn by a Queen's (or King's) Counsel
  2. (informal) a Queen's (or King's) Counsel
  3. take silk, to become a Queen's (or King's) Counsel
(intransitive) (US & Canadian) (of maize) to develop long hairlike styles
Derived Forms
silklike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English sioluc; compare Old Norse silki, Greek sērikon, Korean sir; all ultimately from Chinese ssǔ silk
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 silks
O.E. sioloc, seoloc "silk," ultimately from an Asian word (cf. Chinese si "silk," Manchurian sirghe, Mongolian sirkek) borrowed into Gk. as serikos "silken," serikon "silk" (cf. Gk. Seres, a name for an oriental people from whom the Greeks got silk). The use of -l- instead of -r- in the Balto-Slavic form of the word (cf. O.C.S. shelku, Lith. silkai) apparently passed into English via the Baltic trade and may reflect a Chinese dialectal form, or a Slavic alteration of the Gk. word. Also found in O.N. silki but not elsewhere in Gmc. Western cultivation began 552 C.E., when agents from Byzantium impersonating monks smuggled silkworms and mulberry leaves out of China. In ref to the "hair" of corn, c.1662, Amer.Eng. Silken is O.E. seolcen; silky is attested from 1611. Silkworm is O.E. seolcwyrm. Figurative use of silk-stocking (adj.) for "wealthy" is attested from 1798, Amer.Eng. Silk-screen is first attested 1930.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
silks in Science
  1. A fiber produced by silkworms to form cocoons. Silk is strong, flexible, and fibrous, and is essentially a long continuous strand of protein. It is widely used to make thread and fabric.

  2. A substance similar to the silk of the silkworm but produced by other insect larvae or by spiders to spin webs.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for silks



A white person: So did the silks on the Knapp Commission ever ask about the rate of drug busts? (1960s+ Black)

Related Terms

hit the silk

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
silks in the Bible

Heb. demeshek, "damask," silk cloth manufactured at Damascus, Amos 3:12. A.V., "in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch;" R.V., "in the corner of a couch, and on the silken cushions of a bed" (marg., "in Damascus on a bed"). Heb. meshi, (Ezek. 16:10, 13, rendered "silk"). In Gen. 41:42 (marg. A.V.), Prov. 31:22 (R.V., "fine linen"), the word "silk" ought to be "fine linen." Silk was common in New Testament times (Rev. 18:12).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with silks
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for silk

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for silks

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with silks