1. A narrow strip of ribbon or similar material, often worn as a headband.
2. also fi·let (fĭ-lā, fĭlā′)
a. A strip or compact piece of boneless meat or fish, especially the beef tenderloin.
b. A boneless strip of meat rolled and tied, as for roasting.
a. A thin flat molding used as separation between or ornamentation for larger moldings.
b. A ridge between the indentations of a fluted column.
4. A narrow decorative line impressed onto the cover of a book.
5. Heraldry A narrow horizontal band placed in the lower fourth area of the chief.
6. Anatomy A loop-shaped band of fibers, such as the lemniscus.
tr.v. fil·let·ed, fil·let·ing, fil·lets
1. To bind or decorate with or as if with a fillet.
2. also fi·let (fĭ-lā, fĭlā′) To slice, bone, or make into fillets.
[Middle English filet, from Old French, diminutive of fil, thread, from Latin fīlum; see gwhī- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.