Definition of filigree in English:


(also filagree)


  • [mass noun] Ornamental work of fine (typically gold or silver) wire formed into delicate tracery:

    [as modifier] ‘filigree earrings’
    figurative ‘pine needles draped with a delicate filigree of mist’
    • ‘I walked over to the case and looked inside, searching not for shining silver or delicate filigree, but for the simple, wooden cases that characterized her pure, straightforward faith.’
    • ‘The notes will have a highly reflective silver filigree foil on which the value of the note will be evident.’
    • ‘Her necklace, a large red jewel enclosed in filigree silver work, must have been given to her by a mentor within the Order, it seemed ancient and full of power.’
    • ‘His eyes lit upon the small crystal encased in silver filigree… a lantern.’
    • ‘The scabbard was fine leather, with intricate designs winding around it done in silver filigree.’
    • ‘They are fine gold- and silversmiths and produce delicate works of filigree jewelry and religious emblems.’
    • ‘Dangling from them were small drops of red stone on silver filigree backing.’
    • ‘The wings are unbelievably fine silver filigree.’
    • ‘Strands of gold filigree made up the body and outstretched wings while silver wire outlined the head, feathers.’
    • ‘As his wares were textiles, it was fitting that his breeches were made of something that looked expensive, as was his jewellery: silver filigree bracelets and armlets.’
    • ‘One of the treasures it contained was a quite beautiful silver filigree locket that looked old and tarnished.’
    • ‘Youthful variations of the theme include filigree pendant necklaces and earrings featuring single fruits.’
    • ‘He pulled the palm-sized mirror - framed in a delicate filigree of some gold or brass-like metal - out of his back pocket.’
    • ‘Beth found the skill amazing in its intricacy, like the fine art of carving filigree.’
    • ‘Delicate gold filigree entwined itself around her lower arm, wrist, and hand.’
    • ‘Silver filigree works are made out of the goldsmith's tools.’
    • ‘He pulled from within his robe a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, a magnificent silver filigree forming beautiful designs on the neck clasp but flawed by only one thing.’
    • ‘Made of teakwood covered with silver filigree, it had a life-size female figure at each corner with natural hair and movable eyes.’
    • ‘A knock at the door alarmed me and my silver filigree brush clanged off the glass vanity.’
    • ‘More silver filigree wound through the auburn hair that fell about her shoulders.’
    wirework, fretwork, fret, latticework, lattice, grillwork, scrollwork, lacework, lace, tracery
    View synonyms


Late 17th century (earlier as filigreen, filigrane): from French filigrane, from Italian filigrana (from Latin filum thread + granum seed).