Definition of filigree in US English:


(also filagree)


  • Ornamental work of fine (typically gold or silver) wire formed into delicate tracery.

    as modifier ‘delicate silver filigree earrings’
    figurative ‘a wedding cake of gold and white filigree’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Strands of gold filigree made up the body and outstretched wings while silver wire outlined the head, feathers.’
    • ‘More silver filigree wound through the auburn hair that fell about her shoulders.’
    • ‘His eyes lit upon the small crystal encased in silver filigree… a lantern.’
    • ‘A knock at the door alarmed me and my silver filigree brush clanged off the glass vanity.’
    • ‘They are fine gold- and silversmiths and produce delicate works of filigree jewelry and religious emblems.’
    • ‘He pulled the palm-sized mirror - framed in a delicate filigree of some gold or brass-like metal - out of his back pocket.’
    • ‘Dangling from them were small drops of red stone on silver filigree backing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Youthful variations of the theme include filigree pendant necklaces and earrings featuring single fruits.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One of the treasures it contained was a quite beautiful silver filigree locket that looked old and tarnished.’
    • ‘The scabbard was fine leather, with intricate designs winding around it done in silver filigree.’
    • ‘The wings are unbelievably fine silver filigree.’
    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’).