• WordNet 3.6
    • n silk a fabric made from the fine threads produced by certain insect larvae
    • n silk animal fibers produced by silkworms and other larvae that spin cocoons and by most spiders
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The silk that is produced by spiders is stronger than steel
    • Silk Hence, thread spun, or cloth woven, from the above-named material.
    • Silk That which resembles silk, as the filiform styles of the female flower of maize.
    • Silk The fine, soft thread produced by various species of caterpillars in forming the cocoons within which the worm is inclosed during the pupa state, especially that produced by the larvæ of Bombyx mori.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The average cocoon contains about 300-400 metres of silk
    • n silk A fine soft thread produced chiefly by the larvæ of various bombycid moths, especially of Bombyx (Sericaria) mori, known as silkworms, feeding on the leaves of the mulberry and several other trees. (See Bombyx and silkworm, and compare gut, 4.) Silk is the strongest, roost lustrous, and most valuable of textile fibers. The thread is composed of several finer threads drawn by the worm from two large organs or glands containing a viscid substance, which extend, as in other cocoon-making caterpillars, along a great part of the body and terminate in two spinnerets at the mouth. With this substance the silkworm envelops itself, forming its cocoon. Raw silk is produced by the operation of winding off at the same time several of these cocoons, after they have been immersed in hot water to soften the natural gum on the filament, on a common reel, thereby forming one smooth, even thread. Before it is fit for weaving it is converted into one of three forms, namely singles, tram, or organzine. Singles (a collective noun) is formed of one of the reeled threads, twisted in order to give it strength and firmness. Tram is formed of two or more threads twisted together, and is commonly used in weaving as the shoot or weft. (For organzine, see thrown silk, below.) Silk of various qualities (but none fully equal to the preceding) is produced by different genera of the family Saturniidæ, particularly the tusser-worm of India, Attacus mylitta, the yama-mai of Japan, Antheræa yama-mai, etc., feeding on the oak and other plants.
    • n silk A similar thread or fiber spun by various other insects, especially some spiders; a kind of cobweb or gossamer. Some such webs are lustrous, and may be reeled like true silk. See Nephila, and cut under silk-spider.
    • n silk Cloth made of silk; by extension, a garment made of such cloth. In this sense the word has a plural, silks, denoting different sorts or varieties: as, black silk; white silk; colored silks.
    • n silk The mass of long filiform styles of the female flower of maize: so called from their resemblance in the unripe state to silk in fineness and softness.
    • n silk The silky down in the pod of the milkweed (hence also called silk-weed).
    • n silk The silkiness or silky luster often observed in the sapphire or ruby, due to the inclusion of microscopic crystals between the crystalline layers of the gem. The silk is visible only on what would be the pyramid faces of the crystals.
    • silk Made of silk; silken: as, a silk dress; silk stockings.
    • silk Silk-like; silky.
    • silk A king's or queen's counsel.
    • silk To be in course of earing: said of growing Indian corn.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Some silkworms can spin cocoons that contain more than two miles of silk
    • n Silk silk the delicate, soft thread produced by the larvæ of certain bombycid moths which feed on the leaves of the mulberry, &c.: thread or cloth woven from it: anything resembling silk, the styles of maize, the silky lustre in the ruby, &c
    • adj Silk pertaining to, or consisting of, silk
    • ***


  • Chinese Proverb
    Chinese Proverb
    “Patience is power; with time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown.”
  • Philip Dormer Stanhope
    Philip Dormer Stanhope
    “Few men are of one plain, decided color; most are mixed, shaded or blended; and vary as much from different situations, as changeable silks do from different lights.”


You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear - If something isn't very good to start with, you can't do much to improve it.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. silk, selk, AS. seolc, seoloc,; akin to Icel. silki, SW. & Dan. silke,; prob. through Slavic from an Oriental source; cf. Lith. szilkai, Russ. shelk', and also L. sericum, Seric stuff, silk. Cf. Sericeous. Serge a woolen stuff


In literature:

She said that she wished four silk dresses, the most beautiful that could be seen.
"Italian Popular Tales" by Thomas Frederick Crane
The little girl had a blue-and-white figured silk frock made from a skirt of her mother's.
"A Little Girl in Old New York" by Amanda Millie Douglas
But Betty had already attired Doris in her silk gown.
"A Little Girl in Old Boston" by Amanda Millie Douglas
Mrs. Morton was having a wonderful ashes-of-roses silk dress made.
"Chicken Little Jane" by Lily Munsell Ritchie
A silk slip will be the very thing.
"General John Regan" by George A. Birmingham
Silk and wool require very much the same preparation except that in the case of silk, high temperatures should be avoided.
"Vegetable Dyes" by Ethel M. Mairet
A number of classes of silk goods are made in this way, with a silk filling covering a cotton warp.
"Textiles" by William H. Dooley
The weaving of China silk is a common industry in Amritsar, Bahawalpur, Multan, and other places.
"The Panjab, North-West Frontier Province, and Kashmir" by Sir James McCrone Douie
I am sending you by express your Grandmother Hunter's silk quilt.
"Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1904" by Lucy Maud Montgomery
A fine house and a carriage and a silk dress.
"Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1905 to 1906" by Lucy Maud Montgomery
You must make over Aunt Caroline's silk dress.
"Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1907 to 1908" by Lucy Maud Montgomery
About 1870 the Chinese silk dealers got it through their heads that what the American manufacturers demanded was a heavy silk thread.
"The Story of Silk" by Sara Ware Bassett
How beautiful the silk looked, and how daintily it was made!
"Tabitha at Ivy Hall" by Ruth Alberta Brown
She came out with a lovely red silk scarf in her hand.
"The Automobile Girls in the Berkshires" by Laura Dent Crane
A silk handkerchief will also smooth a silk hat.
"The Complete Bachelor" by Walter Germain
The ground of these quatrefoils is covered with red silk and the spaces between them with green silk.
"Chats on Old Lace and Needlework" by Emily Leigh Lowes
The stiff paper opened, and revealed a roll of bright blue silk, just the tint of the May skies.
"Treasure Valley" by Marian Keith
This varnish will set, or keep its place on the silk in four hours, the silk may then be turned and varnished on the other side.
"The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches," by Mary Eaton
I jest love the feel of silk.
"David Dunne" by Belle Kanaris Maniates
The smaller ones must be worked in silk: the larger patterns may be done in either silk or wool.
"The Ladies' Work-Table Book" by Anonymous

In poetry:

Against the sky the willow spreads a fan
The silk's torn off.
Maybe it's better I did not become
Your wife.
"Memory Of Sun" by Anna Akhmatova
He thought only of roses,
And silk.
When he could get no more silk
He stopped painting
And only thought
Of roses.
"The Painter on Silk" by Amy Lowell
The first town they came to
There was a blue bride-chamber;
He clothed her on with silk
And belted her with amber.
"May Janet" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Wide moonlight on a harvest dew,
White silk, too dear to touch,
These will be you and always you
When I am nothing much.
"Days Pass: Men Pass" by Stephen Vincent Benet
Though ELLEN wore a plain silk gown
Untrimmed with lace or fur,
Yet not a husband in the town
But wished his wife like her.
"First Love" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Your sacred lips do not fan my fire,
Not for me your hallowed empire,
A girl wants money, silks to wear,
She wants me there.
"Judas And Jesus" by Endre Ady

In news:

Silk Road Plans Investments for Myanmar Fund: Southeast Asia.
Silk Road treats Orchestra Hall to high-energy show.
The Silk Road Ensemble members (left to right): Viola player Nicholas Cords, cello player Yo-Yo Ma and cello player Mike Block perform at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park.
Among the notables at the Silk Road Festival were Houston Mayor Annise Parker shown with Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella.
A little history on the Silk Road Festival's noteworthy beginnings.
Houstonians celebrated the " Silk Road Festival" with food, crafts, dances and music of Central Asia.
The multicultural festival at the Stafford Centre brought together ancient exotic traditions of the Silk Road .
Stafford site of first Silk Road Fest. Silk Road Festival Debuts October 4 to 7 in Texas.
A Profile of Janet George and Susan Piper, Owners of Silk Road in Bronxville.
Iraq's strategic position along the ancient Silk Road once fashioned Baghdad into a bustling center of trade.
Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.
Clinton's Dubious Plan to Save Afghanistan With a 'New Silk Road '.
The Brilliant, Unworkable New Silk Road .
A Journey Off the Silk Road .

In science:

On very small angular scales, ℓ >∼ 800, fluctuations are damped by collisional damping (Silk damping).
The theory of CMB anisotropies
Matter power spectra (from Sugiyama, Zaroubi & Silk 2003).
The First Cosmic Structures and their Effects
During this phase, the mask is unity except in the immediate vicinities of the X-ray emitting sources (Zaroubi & Silk 2005).
The Alcock-Paczynski test in redshifted twenty one centimeter maps
In any case, departures from MC are larger in low-mass galaxies (Ferreras & Silk 2000).
Secular Evolution of Galaxies
For example, Diego, Mazzotta & Silk (2003) and Lavaux et al. (2004) explored the polarization induced by bulk motions during merging of subclusters.
The Sunyaev-Zeldovich Effect
Other recent efforts to investigate the viability of the MOND hypothesis using kinematics include using galaxy clusters (Pointecouteau & Silk 2005) and globular clusters of stars (Baumgardt, Grebel & Kroupa 2005).
Testing the Self-Consistency of MOND With Three-Dimensional Galaxy Kinematics
Burkert & Silk 2001), and the effects of AGN feedback on the surrounding intergalactic medium (Scannapieco, Silk, & Bouwens 2005).
Galaxy Formation
Silk, A Short History of the Universe (Scienti fic American Library, N.
Can physics laws be derived from monogenic functions?
Finally, cluster abundances can provide limits on the level of non-Gaussianity in the primordial density perturbations (Scoccimarro, Sefusatti, & Zaldarriaga 2004; Mathis, Diego, & Silk 2004).
The Cluster Mass Function from Weak Gravitational Lensing
Silk, “Particle dark matter: Evidence, candidates and constraints,” Phys.
The Muon Magnetic Moment and Supersymmetry
The good agreement between the phases of Tw (k) and Tw,ref means, that quite simple physics as described by Tw (mainly velocity overshoot and Silk damping) dominate the oscillations expected to be seen in the overall power spectrum.
Probing Dark Energy with Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations at High Redshifts
This is expected, as the transfer function is dominated by the effects of velocity overshoot and Silk damping on these scales and the wiggle function was designed to model these effects.
Probing Dark Energy with Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations at High Redshifts
However, the amplitudes of the oscillations decrease exponentially with k (e.g., Silk damping).
Probing Dark Energy with Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations at High Redshifts
And finally, Silk argued that perhaps primordial black holes are the culprit, a most fascinating suggestion.
The Galactic Halo: Conference Summary
Candidates for non-baryonic dark matter include massive neutrinos, axions, neutralinos, and primordial black holes (Sadoulet, Silk, Turner).
The Third Stromlo Symposium - The Galactic Halo: Bright Stars and Dark Matter