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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
fillet a fish (=cut the meat away from the bones)
▪ You need a sharp knife to fillet fish.
▪ Many a bunch of vigilante bully-boys would have worked them over into lumps of fillet steak, twitching and staining the carpet.
▪ A quality product - fillet steak not offal!
▪ salmon fillets
▪ Add halibut fillets, skin side up, and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned.
▪ Comparisons reveal that further-processed fish products are more expensive than frozen raw fillets and steaks.
▪ Cut the fillets into serving pieces but leave steaks whole.
▪ He then slices open the fillet to add a langoustine mousse.
▪ Make several deep incisions in the beef fillet using a small knife.
▪ Season to taste and divide the chopped grapefruit among the fillets.
▪ Smaller boneless lamb cuts include best end neck fillets and steaks from the leg or loin.
▪ Turn fillets over, reduce heat to medium, and cook several minutes more until skin side is browned.
▪ Salmon is a relatively easy fish to fillet.
▪ It took him another ten minutes to fillet them for our supper.
▪ Joe began to prepare the plaice, using a thin and very sharp knife to fillet them.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Fillet \Fil"let\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Filleted; p. pr. & vb. n. Filleting.] To bind, furnish, or adorn with a fillet.


Fillet \Fil"let\, n. [OE. filet, felet, fr. OF. filet thread, fillet of meat, dim. of fil a thread, fr. L. filum. See Fille a row.]

  1. A little band, especially one intended to encircle the hair of the head.

    A belt her waist, a fillet binds her hair.

  2. (Cooking) A piece of lean meat without bone; sometimes, a long strip rolled together and tied.

    Note: A fillet of beef is the under side of the sirlom; also called tenderloin. A fillet of veal or mutton is the fleshy part of the thigh. A fillet of fish is a slice of flat fish without bone. ``Fillet of a fenny snake.''

  3. A thin strip or ribbon; esp.:

    1. A strip of metal from which coins are punched.

    2. A strip of card clothing.

    3. A thin projecting band or strip.

  4. (Mach.) A concave filling in of a re["e]ntrant angle where two surfaces meet, forming a rounded corner.

  5. (Arch.) A narrow flat member; especially, a flat molding separating other moldings; a reglet; also, the space between two flutings in a shaft. See Illust. of Base, and Column.

  6. (Her.) An ordinary equaling in breadth one fourth of the chief, to the lowest portion of which it corresponds in position.

  7. (Mech.) The thread of a screw.

  8. A border of broad or narrow lines of color or gilt.

  9. The raised molding about the muzzle of a gun.

  10. Any scantling smaller than a batten.

  11. (Anat.) A fascia; a band of fibers; applied esp. to certain bands of white matter in the brain.

  12. (Man.) The loins of a horse, beginning at the place where the hinder part of the saddle rests.

    Arris fillet. See under Arris.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 14c., "little headband," from Old French filet "thread, filament; strip, ligament" (12c.), diminutive of fil "thread" (see file (v.1)). Sense of "cut of meat or fish" is from late 14c., apparently so called because it was prepared by being tied up with a string.


c.1600, "to bind with a narrow band," from fillet (n.). Meaning "to cut in fillets" is from 1846. Related: Filleted; filleting.


n. 1 (context now rare English) A headband; a ribbon or other band used to tie the hair up, or keep a headdress in place, or for decoration. 2 A thin strip of any material, in various technical uses. 3 (context construction English) A heavy bead of waterproofing compound or sealant material generally installed at the point where vertical and horizontal surfaces meet. 4 (context engineering drafting CAD English) A rounded relief or cut at an edge, especially an inside edge, added for a finished appearance and to break sharp edges. 5 A strip or compact piece of meat or fish from which any bones and skin and feathers have been removed. 6 (context architecture English) A thin flat moulding/molding used as separation between larger mouldings. 7 (context architecture English) The space between two flutings in a shaft. 8 (context heraldry English) An ordinary equally in breadth one quarter of the chief, to the lowest portion of which it corresponds in position. 9 The thread of a screw. 10 A border of broad or narrow lines of colour or gilt. 11 The raised moulding around the muzzle of a gun. 12 (label en woodworking) Any scantling smaller than a batten. 13 (context anatomy English) A fascia; a band of fibres; applied especially to certain bands of white matter in the brain. 14 The loins of a horse, beginning at the place where the hinder part of the saddle rests. vb. 1 (context transitive English) To slice, bone or make into fillets. 2 (context transitive English) To apply, create, or specify a rounded or filled corner to.

  1. v. decorate with a lace of geometric designs [syn: filet]

  2. cut into filets; "filet the fish" [syn: filet]

  1. n. a boneless steak cut from the tenderloin of beef [syn: filet]

  2. a longitudinal slice or boned side of a fish [syn: filet, fish fillet, fish filet]

  3. a bundle of sensory nerve fibers going to the thalamus [syn: lemniscus]

  4. a narrow headband or strip of ribbon worn as a headband [syn: taenia, tenia]

  5. fastener consisting of a narrow strip of welded metal used to join steel members [syn: stopping]


Fillet may refer to:

  • Fillet (aircraft), a fairing smoothing the airflow at a joint between two components
  • Fillet (clothing), a headband
  • Fillet (cut), a piece of meat
  • Fillet (mechanics), the filling of an interior corner
  • Fillet (picture framing), a small piece of moulding which fits inside a larger frame, also known as a "slip"
  • Fish fillet
  • Annulet (architecture), part of a column capital
  • Fillet (redaction), editing, to cut out letters of a word or name to prevent full disclosure (i.e. "W-----m P--t" for "William Pitt")
Fillet (mechanics)

In mechanical engineering, a fillet is a rounding of an interior or exterior corner of a part design. An interior or exterior corner, with an angle or type of bevel, is called a " chamfer". Fillet geometry, when on an interior corner is a line of concave function, whereas a fillet on an exterior corner is a line of convex function (in these cases, fillets are typically referred to as rounds).

Fillet (cut)

A fillet (or filet) (, ; from the French word filet ) is a cut or slice of boneless meat or fish.

Fillet (picture framing)

In the picture framing industry, a fillet (also referred to as a slip) is a small piece of moulding which fits inside a larger frame or, typically, underneath or in between matting, used for decorative purposes. The picture framing term is probably related to, though not necessarily derived from, the engineering term, which it is frequently pronounced similarly to; however, unlike the use of fillets in mechanical engineering, the use of "fillets" in picture frames is wholly decorative.

Fillet (clothing)

A fillet was originally worn in classical antiquity, especially in cultures of the Mediterranean, Levant and Persia, including Hellenic Culture. At that time, a fillet was a very narrow band of cloth, leather or some form of garland, and they were frequently worn by athletes. It was also worn as a sign of royalty and became symbolized in later ages as a metallic ring which was a stylized band of cloth.

Egyptian Crown from 17th Dynasty | Relief of Amenhotep III Wearing Fillet Crown | Procession of Officials from reign of Ramses III at Medinet Habu von Delphi Gesicht.jpg| Charioteer of Delphi, wearing a fillet headband, bronze statue (478-474 BCE).

Later, in medieval times, a fillet was a type of headband worn by unmarried women, in certain monkhoods, usually with a wimple. This is indicated in the sign language of said monks (who took oaths of silence), wherein a sweeping motion across the brow, in the shape of a fillet, indicated an unmarried woman.

Fillet (redaction)

To fillet in the sense of literary editing is a form of censorship or redaction effected by "cutting out" central letters of a word or name, as if the skeleton of a fish, and replacing them with dashes, to prevent full disclosure (i.e. "W-----m P--t" for "William Pitt"). It was frequently practiced in publications of the 18th century in England. Its purpose was to inform interested readers in an obfuscated manner whilst at the same time avoiding the risk of being sued for illegal publication or defamation or libel by the overt naming of persons as having committed certain acts or spoken certain words. It was used for example in the Gentleman's Magazine's parliamentary reports published from 1738 onwards under the title of the "Debates in the Senate of Magna Lilliputia" in which in order to circumvent the prohibition of the publication of parliamentary debates of the English Parliament the real names of the various orators were filleted or replaced by pseudonyms or anagrams, for example, Sir Robert Walpole was thinly disguised as "Sr. R―t W―le".

It was often performed not to avoid legal action but merely to show deference to the privacy of some great personage, or not to offend his imputed sense of modesty by naming him as the author of some great or worthy deed or act.

Usage examples of "fillet".

Fillet of sole amandine was tasteless, decomposed, and swimming in broth, and the almonds had not browned.

It must have seemed very cruel to Alphonsine that she, with her smooth brown hair which she coiffed perfectly, her long white hands, and her slender body with its hour-glass waist, which had a strange air of having been filleted of all grossness, could never know the joy that could be obtained even by this black untidy girl.

As Jessamy removed the dried floral wreaths from both bowed heads, the girls with the veils performed their offices, bidding Alyce and Marie to hold the front edges of the veils in place while rainbow-plaited fillets were bound across their foreheads, entirely suitable for the lives they were to lead for the next few years.

When it boils, put in the fillets rolled up, and fastened with a toothpick.

A handkerchief, a fillet for your hair, a wreath of gold or silver, a breastpin, a mirror, a girdle, a purse, a tassel, a comb, sleeves, gloves, a ring, a compact, a picture, a washbasin, a flag but only as a souvenir.

So were the winter vegetables and the roast fillet of beef with cornichon tarragon sauce.

It took him only moments to set up his bubbletent, light a small fire, and set his simple dinner -- a filleted fatfin, rubbed with garlic and habanero -- to grilling.

Steam salmon steaks, cool, cut into fillets, dip in egg and crumbs, fry in deep fat, and serve with Tartar or Hollandaise Sauce.

One could read, chalked on a slate: Rillettes du Morvan Fillet of veal with lentils Cheese Tarte maison The plump Magistrate perked up in this atmosphere, greedily sniffing the thick scent of food.

She would beat the fillets lightly with straws so the flavor of the smoke would permeate them while they turned a golden brown.

I longed to shape a tree branch into a pronged trident, to spear a fat wingfish, to fillet it with my overgrown fingernails and suck down the salty meat.

It is the practical inattention to similar coincidences which has given rise to the unpleasant but often necessary documents called indictments, which has sharpened a form of the cephalotome sometimes employed in the case of adults, and adjusted that modification of the fillet which delivers the world of those who happen to be too much in the way while such striking coincidences are taking place.

Fish was filleted and hung up on wooden dowels to dry over slow, smoky fires.

Just as tacos, fish fillets, and eggrolls offered a break from fast-food monotony, this new generation of diverse hamburgers also gave customers significant choices for their meals.

A fillet of silver lace fastened with pins whose diamond embellishments blazed in the sunlight bound her gray hair.