Definition of fillet in English:



  • 1A fleshy boneless piece of meat from near the loins or the ribs of an animal.

    ‘a chicken breast fillet’
    [mass noun] ‘roast fillet of lamb’
    • ‘Turn the fillets over (and marvel at your stunning charred lines) and cook for a further one to two minutes until still slightly pink in the centre.’
    • ‘Rub the chicken fillets with rock salt and paprika.’
    • ‘The other dishes, sesame chicken breast and pork fillet with mustard sauce were also good flavoursome and different dishes.’
    • ‘Once you've got a good fillet of new season lamb from the butcher you seal it and you wrap it in the pastry - it doesn't have to be flash - using whatever flavourings you want.’
    • ‘For starters I was rather adventurous and went for the fillet of ostrich which came with a parsnip and garlic mash with pearl barley topping.’
    • ‘Cheaper options included various meat fillets, including chicken, veal, duck, goose and pork.’
    • ‘The main course (of the seven that evening) was a fillet of veal done in the Barolo wine with cauliflower ganache and endives in red sea salt.’
    • ‘Last night the entrée was a bacon-wrapped fillet mignon with a fig sauce and potato gratin.’
    • ‘Dredge pork fillets in flour and shake off any excess.’
    • ‘If you're extra hungry, order an additional grilled chicken breast fillet.’
    • ‘That was followed by a chicken fillet covered with a great creamy sauce and mashed potatoes alongside it.’
    • ‘Gently wrap the fillets together with caul fat or tie together with butcher's twine.’
    • ‘Season and coat the fillets in the remaining beer batter.’
    • ‘Young simulated a scenario of packing 4-pound packages of chicken breast fillets.’
    • ‘The Oven Roasted Strips Meal consists of three boneless chicken fillets seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices served on a bed of long-grain rice with a side of green beans.’
    • ‘My fillet of venison with a roulade of celeriac and roasted wild mushrooms in a red wine and port jus was absolutely fine apart from one key factor.’
    • ‘Mr Gucci had the fillet of veal braised in brown chicken stock, sautéed ceps, baby spinach and truffle cream at £20.’
    • ‘We finished with a fillet of pork with a port wine reduction and then the aforementioned triple textured chocolate and sat back totally satiated.’
    1. 1.1A beef steak cut from the lower part of a sirloin.
      • ‘You can get a fine fillet steak with chips and trimmings for €10-12.’
      • ‘Vicky's option was a lot more straightforward: a ten-ounce fillet steak with green pepper and brandy sauce.’
      • ‘Something that had initially caught my eye was the herbed canon of lamb, or the chargrilled fillet steak.’
      • ‘When my knuckles went white as I tried to cut the fillet steak that followed, I sighed.’
      • ‘As it's so low in fat and cholesterol you have nearly all the flavour of a tender fillet steak and none of the health risks.’
      • ‘Then I boil up a portion each morning and pour it into a deep bowl over raw prawns or raw fillet steak, julienne of cucumber, bean sprouts, chilli and noodles.’
      • ‘With a fillet steak you should leave the thing alone to appreciate its charred exterior, gently yielding texture and pink heart.’
      • ‘From the prime table - centre, first step up - the fillet steak is at eye-level.’
      • ‘In the old days when I ate out on a fairly regular basis, Paul Stiffler was the only chef who knew just how rare I took my fillet steak.’
      • ‘For lunch ‘Blue’ has a fillet steak with baked potato followed by another protein mix in mid-afternoon.’
      • ‘All of the players, he said, could now be treated to ‘a fillet steak, instead of toast and beans’.’
      • ‘It seems a shame to eat anything other than fish in this restaurant but the fillet steak has become just as renowned.’
      • ‘Think depth rather than width and cook it like a proper fillet steak, only seasoning it halfway through the cooking process.’
      • ‘The fillet steak, however, was beautifully presented and combined an unusual and delicious array of flavours.’
      • ‘The fillet steak in the steak sandwich was so good I even queried Greg as to whether he had slipped a better quality one in, just for me, which he denied.’
      • ‘The meat itself is tender, even more so than a fine fillet steak, and requires the gentlest of handling and cooking.’
      • ‘For the main course I paid the modest £2 supplement for the fillet steak.’
      • ‘Garlic mushrooms, with salad and dips, appealed to my husband, and then a fillet steak with pepper sauce (there are other sauce choices).’
      • ‘The chargrilled fillet steak with creamed potatoes and roasted field mushrooms was ordered medium rare and arrived medium.’
      • ‘A glass of red wine in a restaurant was discovered to be 16% cheaper and the average price of a fillet steak was reported to be 14% better value in the West.’
    2. 1.2A boned side of a fish.
      • ‘The fish fillet in wine sauce disappeared off the menu.’
      • ‘To serve spoon some pineapple mint and heirloom tomato salad onto the center of a plate and set a yellowtail snapper fillet on top.’
      • ‘Before them was a meal including queen of scallop and haddock chowder, herb crusted roast fillet of Irish beef, grilled fillets of west coast sea bass and roast loin of grain fed veal.’
      • ‘Bea had less luck with her baked fillet of halibut on a creamy risotto of smoked salmon.’
      • ‘A good fillet of sea bream was rather overwhelmed by a quilt of very salty black olive paste and the grilled eel in a herb crust was also a little heavy-handed.’
      • ‘Place the cod fillets on a flat work surface and cover each fillet with two slices of the ham.’
      • ‘The Fish Society's cod fillets are like no other.’
      • ‘He smoked 60 cigarettes a day, and hung anchovy fillets round his neck as a talisman to protect his voice.’
      • ‘When ready to cook, strain the court bouillon and pour into a wide sauté pan, just deep enough to cover the salmon fillets.’
      • ‘Wrap each halibut fillet completely with a fig leaf, securing with a toothpick if necessary.’
      • ‘There is an amusing story associated with this extremely expensive and elegant dish which required a whole fillet of sturgeon per person.’
      • ‘Check the fish fillets for small bones, then set aside.’
      • ‘Heat a heavy based frying pan and seal the fillets on both sides and cook to medium rare.’
      • ‘Pour enough water into skillet to cover fillets.’
      • ‘I had asked her to tell me, based on what she'd seen in the kitchen, and on the reaction of other diners, whether she would choose the escalopes of veal or the baked fillet of cod.’
      • ‘Place a fillet of cod in the center of the plate and garnish with pea shoots, mint, and a lemon half.’
      • ‘The Broadcaster had the baked fillet of salmon with a honey and wholegrain mustard crust.’
      • ‘Top fillet with cilantro, coating it as mush as possible.’
      • ‘Place a fillet of sea bass on top of the sliced mushrooms.’
      • ‘Season and coat one side of the tilapia fillets with the scallion crust.’
  • 2A band or ribbon worn around the head, especially for binding the hair.

    • ‘He also parted company with the Farnese Flora by exchanging her wreath and fillet for oak crowns, a reminder that his figure stood against the thick woods of Versailles.’
    • ‘He wears a fillet in his hair and has a richly colored and embroidered himation wrapped around his waist.’
    • ‘This was true in the case of the Venus Esquilina, whose pose Poynter completed by showing her wrapping a fillet around her head.’
    crown, coronet, tiara, circlet, chaplet, headpiece, headband, fillet, wreath, garland
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Architecture A narrow flat band separating two moldings.
      • ‘The generous fillet at the top of the principal cove of the cornice is finished with a two-color mouse-tooth banding.’
      • ‘Can you imagine, if all those perfectly wrought concrete edges had been reduced to the more easily formed standard splayed edge fillets, how impoverished it would seem to us now?’
      • ‘You'll see the use of texture and complementary fillets all throughout our line of wood and polystyrene mouldings.’
      • ‘Interestingly, surface modelers nowadays take pages from the solid modeling book in how they do things like putting fillets on edges.’
      • ‘The extensive factory area across the back of the building includes miniature frame racks fillets representing lengths of moulding.’
      • ‘Selling customers on more expensive framing orders is often simply a matter of showing them the effects that wider mats, fillets and more expensive mouldings can have, said several framers.’
      • ‘Recognized by decorators and designers around the world, Max Moulding offers a wide variety of mouldings and fillets for every taste, every need and every budget.’
    2. 2.2Architecture A small band between the flutes of a column.
    3. 2.3A plain or decorated line impressed on the cover of a book.
      • ‘Black suede mats will always be popular, and small touches like double mats and fillets go a long way to accentuate a diploma.’
    4. 2.4A roller used to impress a line on the cover of a book.
  • 3A concave strip of material roughly triangular in cross section that rounds off an interior angle between two surfaces.

    ‘a splayed mortar fillet at the junction of the roof with the chimney stack’
    [as modifier] ‘a fillet weld’
    • ‘Also, SolidWorks 2004 comes with predefined structural weldment members such as fillets, weld beads, gussets, end caps, and cut lists.’
    • ‘Alias, however, uses the surfaces to define the fillet.’
    • ‘In parametric models, each entity, such as a line or a fillet, has parameters associated with it.’
    • ‘The poles came from strips of broken fillets that had been lying around the shop.’
    • ‘Prints from catalogs were mounted on black core mat and cut to show bevel, using fillets around them to represent framed pictures.’
    • ‘Mr. Davies observed that the fillet welds in way of the damaged ballast tanks and fuel tank had failed.’


  • 1 Remove the bones from (a fish)

    • ‘The best thing is therefore to fillet any fish you are going to put in the curry, and use all the heads and skeletons to make the stock.’
    • ‘This list is for those of us who are to lazy to cut, gut and fillet our own fish.’
    • ‘Scale, clean and fillet the remaining fish, putting skin, bones, heads etc. into a large pan with the fish trimmings and 2 litres of water.’
    • ‘Fish can also be filleted and iced on board the fishing boats as a result of the initiative.’
    • ‘Fish caught on boating excursions of less than 48 hours must not be filleted at sea, and for longer trips only fillets at least 30 cm long with the skin and scales still attached may be landed.’
    • ‘The blade is somewhat flexible, better to make the turns necessary when filleting a fish.’
    • ‘I remember my grandfather taking the fish I had caught, whether it was a single small fish or a bucket of whoppers, and filleting them on newspaper outside his cottage.’
    • ‘Ask your fishmonger to fillet it and remove the small bones.’
    • ‘However, it is a fish which is well adapted to being filleted, yielding cohesive, firm fillets of a good thickness, and many of the classic sole recipes are for fillets.’
    • ‘Equally as mysterious, is the skill that is required to fillet the flesh through the network of bones.’
    • ‘I much prefer to fillet fish after they have chilled, back at the dock or anchorage when the boat is quiet and feet are not slipping on a bloody deck.’
    • ‘Also thanks for kindly filleting the fish leaving no bones.’
    • ‘Whilst we were relaxing the crew of the boat were at work filleting the fish and putting it into bags so that when the shore finally came into sight we all had a bag of fish in the ice boxes ready to take home and put in the freezer.’
    • ‘One critic says his tongue could fillet a fish, and this week he comes to New Zealand to headline the Comedy Festival and perform solo shows in Auckland and Christchurch.’
    • ‘To add to this assurance of quality, Graham fillets each fish by hand, which allows him to monitor every single fish that passes through the Smokehouse.’
    • ‘No, your Honour, the original fish has been filleted somewhat and it is a smaller thing.’
    • ‘It was awash with salmon that had been filleted, and it was quite disgusting and a was substantial mess.’
    • ‘We work until nearly midnight filleting the fish and giving it away in great slabs to the 200 strong flotilla of visiting yachts that crowd the marina in summer.’
    • ‘We watched as fish was filleted for a customer next to us.’
    • ‘Up to now, the company filleted the fish and exported it in bulk form but, with the new development, this will all change and added packaged produce aimed specifically at the eastern European market will be produced.’
    1. 1.1Cut (fish or meat) into boneless strips.
      • ‘Big ones over 2lbs I like to fillet four ways, and then grill the fillets using lemon butter as a baste.’
      • ‘A variation of this recipe is usually used to garnish Cantonese roast pork, but we slathered it on salt-baked pork chops, which were filleted like veal and fried in crinkly shapes like some strange form of ribbon candy.’
      • ‘Competitors fillet tuna to produce an even, level piece.’
      • ‘Nottingham Crown Court heard that staff, in threadbare butchers' aprons, worked into the early hours to fillet carcasses which had been condemned as unfit for human consumption.’
      • ‘Boyd Line produces ‘frozen at sea’ fillets - caught, filleted and frozen within four hours - mostly for fish and chip shops.’


Middle English (denoting a band worn around the head): from Old French filet thread based on Latin filum thread.