Meaning of SILK in English

I. ˈsilk, ˈsiu̇k noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English selk, silk, from Old English sioloc, seolc, probably of Baltic or Slavic origin; akin to Old Prussian silkas silk, Old Slavic shelkŭ

1. : a fine continuous protein fiber produced by various insect larvae usually for cocoons ; especially : the lustrous tough elastic hygroscopic fiber that is produced by silkworms by secreting from two glands viscous fluid in the form of two filaments consisting principally of fibroin cemented into a single strand by sericin and solidifying in air, that is capable of being reeled in a single strand from the cocoon, and that with or without boiling off the sericin is used for textiles


a. : thread, yarn, or fabric made from silk filaments — see spun silk

b. : strands of silk thread of various thicknesses and plain or braided used as suture material in surgery

surgical silk

silk technique


a. : a garment (as a dress) of silk : silk apparel

a crowd dressed in silk

printed silks on sale today

wear silk


(1) : a gown worn by a King's or Queen's Counsel or barrister of high rank appointed by the lord chancellor

(2) : a King's or Queen's Counsel

(3) : the rank or persons entitled to such a gown — see silk gown

c. silks plural : the colored cap and blouse of a jockey or harness horse driver made in the registered racing color of the stable for which he is riding or driving in a particular race


a. : a filament resembling silk but produced by some other organism: as

(1) : the filament produced by various spiders especially in building their webs and used for cloth and telescopic sights

(2) : the byssal thread of a mollusk of the genus Pinna

b. : a thread of such material or of wire (as used in a sieve of a sifter in flour milling)


a. : corn silk

b. : a style of corn silk — compare tassel I 2a

6. : inclusions of minute crystals that impart a silky luster to a gem (as a ruby)

7. : silk sponge

8. : parachute

pack the silk

the silk opened

II. adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from silk (I)

1. : relating to or made of silk : silken

a silk ribbon

2. : resembling silk

III. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: silk (I)

transitive verb

1. : to fashion of or cover with silk

2. : to strip (an ear of corn) of silk

intransitive verb

1. : blossom — used of corn

inbred lines were pollinated at successive intervals after silking — R.H.Andrew

2. : to develop a striated appearance and luster suggestive of silk cloth — used of varnish and enamels

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.