• WordNet 3.6
    • v filigree make filigree, as with a precious metal
    • n filigree delicate and intricate ornamentation (usually in gold or silver or other fine twisted wire)
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Filigree Ornamental work, formerly with grains or breads, but now composed of fine wire and used chiefly in decorating gold and silver to which the wire is soldered, being arranged in designs frequently of a delicate and intricate arabesque pattern.
    • a Filigree Relating to, composed of, or resembling, work in filigree; as, a filigree basket. Hence: Fanciful; unsubstantial; merely decorative. "You ask for reality, not fiction and filigree work."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n filigree Ornamental work consisting of fine gold, silver, or sometimes copper wire, formed into delicate tracery of scrolls, network, and the like, or of minute grains or plates of metal soldered to a background, or of both combined. It is used either independently or for application to more solid articles, and is one of the most ancient kinds of jewelers' work. The Greek and Etruscan filigree-work is of extreme beauty, and much of the jewelry for personal adornment found in their tombs or elsewhere is of this kind. In the middle ages filigree-work reached great development in certain parts of Europe, especially in Ireland before the eleventh century. It is made in northern Italy, Genoa and Venice being famous for it.
    • n filigree Any kind of ornamental openwork resembling or analogous to filigree.
    • n filigree Hence Figuratively, anything very delicate, light, and fanciful or showy in structure; especially, anything too delicately formed to be serviceable; something easily destroyed or injured.
    • filigree Composed of filigree: as, a filigree brooch.
    • filigree To ornament with filigree-work.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Filigree fil′i-grē a kind of ornamental metallic lacework of gold and silver, twisted into convoluted forms, united and partly consolidated by soldering—earlier forms, Fil′igrain, Fil′igrane
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  • Louis-Ferdinand Celine
    “Life is filigree work. What is written clearly is not worth much, it's the transparency that counts.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Corrupted fr. filigrane,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. filigrane—It. filigrana—L. filum, thread, granum, a grain.


In literature:

A paper box done with needle in filigree.
"The Development of Embroidery in America" by Candace Wheeler
Many of the fruit stands were of gold filigree work.
"Mizora: A Prophecy" by Mary E. Bradley
Of these the United States purchases wine and raisins for home consumption and lace and filigree work for the trade with Mexico.
"Commercial Geography" by Jacques W. Redway
In the shining black braids glistened fern leaves of silver filigree.
"The Continental Monthly, Vol 3 No 3, March 1863" by Various
A little farther on, a case of silver filigree caught his eye and he turned over some of the articles.
"Brandon of the Engineers" by Harold Bindloss
The crest of every wave seemed as if made of delicate filigree work.
"The Submarine Hunters" by Percy F. Westerman
When Flavia reached her own room, there stood on her dressing-table a long silver-paper and filigree box.
"From the Car Behind" by Eleanor M. Ingram
Mostly into filigree work.
"The Golden Skull" by John Blaine
The bazaar is a good one, and gold and silver filigree work is made, peculiar in character and design.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 4" by Various
It was an opal of some size set unusually in silver filigree with seed pearls and brilliants.
"Carnival" by Compton Mackenzie

In poetry:

His name and fame were on the door—
A most superior tomb indeed,
Much railed, and gilt, and filigreed;
He occupied the lower floor.
"His Soul" by Victor James Daley
A shimmering air the golden calm was weaving,
All filigree'd with dawn, that like a braid
Surmounted her pure brow, which still was hidden
Half in the shade.
"She Of The Garden" by Emile Verhaeren
Oh, fairy palace of pink and pearl
Frescoed with filigree silver-white,
Down in the silence beneath the sea
God by Himself must have fashioned thee
Just for His own delight!
"The Sea-Shell" by Virna Sheard
Pure blood, and noble blood, in the fine and rose-red veins;
Small, interspersed with jewels of white gold
Frail-filigreed among the rest;
Rose of the oldest races of princesses, Polynesian
"Hibiscus And Salvia Flowers" by D H Lawrence
And we took the challenge with us. It was beautiful to see,
With its lovely curly letters, at its pretty filigree.
It was very gently worded, and it made us all feel good,
For it breathed the sweetest sentiments of peace and brotherhood.
"A Friendly Game Of Football" by Edward Dyson
"It's not too good to find," they said, "it sort o' twists along,
But keep on keepin' straight ahead and then you won't go wrong."
And every man drew out a plan with all the filigrees
Of track and lane to try explain that road to Danahy's.
"The Road to Danahey's" by John O Brien

In news:

Viya Home's Jasmine Filigree Jaali brass wall hanging by Stephanie Odegard, 800-670-8836.
Filigree Belgian cotton-lace border by Samuel & Sons, 212-704-8000.
The G3 proves precision and accuracy in the surface processing of plastic and metal materials of all kinds, and applies filigree 3D engravings on small and lightweight metal parts.
Lattice filigree necklace, $98 at Ann Taylor,
Lattice filigree necklace , $98 at Ann Taylor,
For Spectrum Spools, Emeralds' John Elliott delivers more cosmic frippery and ultra-vivid analog filigree.
The card has filigrees and curlicues to counterbalance the crispness of the number and suit.
If so, you are lucky: now is the time to haul out your old beads, stone necklaces, cuff bracelets, outsize brooches and belts with filigree buckles.
The Vixen Appetizer Plate features a a leaping filigree reindeer .