Definition of silk in US English:

silk

noun

  • 1A fine, strong, soft, lustrous fiber produced by silkworms in making cocoons and collected to make thread and fabric.

    • ‘The kimono itself looked like it was made out of fine silk.’
    • ‘She let her hand glide over the soft satin and silk wondering how it would feel against her skin.’
    • ‘Some of their black uniforms were made out of silk or other fine material instead of the rough cotton that the other students wore.’
    • ‘The robe was made of a dark blue silk that was so soft, so finely woven, that the person wearing it forgot that they were wearing anything at all.’
    • ‘Silk moth cocoons are made of a layer of silk that the caterpillar exudes from glands in its mouth.’
    • ‘The deep green surcoat, woven of the finest silk, emphasized the splendor of his accouterments.’
    • ‘Laces were typically made from flax, silk, metal wrapped silk and some cotton and wool.’
    • ‘It was made of fine silk and sewn and embroidered with silver thread, tiny gems sewn at the wrist, neck, and hem of her skirts.’
    • ‘The woman, dressed in intricately patterns of fine silk, sat on the cushioned chair, and took the glass of wine the page had set before her.’
    • ‘The materials are generally dominated by satin and thick silk with soft textures.’
    • ‘Clodia flourished a brand new dress made of the finest silk, dyed richly with a deep red, trimmed with gold and deep hues of orange.’
    • ‘I gather up the silk I have spun since the last time he came to me, and the empty flask, and fill the basket, lowering it down the cord in silence, as always.’
    • ‘Choose clothing made of soft fabrics like cotton or silk.’
    • ‘Lance's dark hair was sleekly combed, his clothes made from soft silk, and he wore well-fitted slacks that appeared to be brand new.’
    • ‘She had a gown of the finest silk and pure white Chantilly lace.’
    • ‘The strongest silk, however, is made by caterpillars that refuse to be domesticated.’
    • ‘They dressed in their finest gowns of silk and satin, jewels of gold, elegant shoes and shawls.’
    • ‘Her dress was of silver silk, a fine and rare material.’
    • ‘With my non-sticky hand I caress the fabric with my fingertips, the sensation of the soft silk delicious.’
    • ‘She was French, and she carried fine silk and precious metals for those who had settled in North America, hopefully to be traded for furs and timber.’
    1. 1.1often as modifier Thread or fabric made from the fiber produced by the silkworm.
      ‘a silk shirt’
      • ‘Her oyster silk basket-weave coat and chiffon dress proved a hit at the civil ceremony in Windsor Guildhall.’
      • ‘The caterpillars that spin commercial silk can make much tougher or more elastic threads, depending on how fast they're forced to spin.’
      • ‘For special occasions they wear silk shirts or blouses.’
      • ‘Just days before, she had been at school, dressed in a skirt and silk shirt; now she was wearing a thin, onyx leather long coat and an armor skin suit.’
      • ‘The fabrics used - silks, chiffon, georgettes, organza, linen and cotton - remain clearly tailor-made for taking on the spring and summer of 2003.’
      • ‘All are worked primarily in cross-stitch, in silk thread on linen.’
      • ‘Devlin fitted himself into a pair of Levi jeans, a wide V-necked black silk shirt, and a pair of suede brown shoes.’
      • ‘I dug through the pile nearest me, finding clothes that were of little help: black slacks, silk shirts and nylons.’
      • ‘His sidekick, Manuel, preferred a smoother look with a haute couture nylon suit and purple silk shirt.’
      • ‘Floral prints in combination with light, natural fibres like chiffon, silk and linen underscore this young and natural look.’
      • ‘A set of matching cotton, flannel, or silk pants and shirts are good selections.’
      • ‘I love the feel of natural fabrics; linen and silk are more lively and natural as well.’
      • ‘The textile design graduate also specialises in producing scarves made from natural fibres such as silk and linen.’
      • ‘The Dressman is suitable for shirts made from silk, viscose, cotton, linen, flannel and all other non-stretch materials.’
      • ‘These cloths include silk and chiffon and each piece of work takes eight to ten days, and she has to paint from four to six hours each day.’
      • ‘His objects begin with a piece of fabric, most commonly silk, but sometimes linen or wool.’
      • ‘Inspired by the rich tradition of the sub-continent, Karuna has concentrated on pure fabrics like khadi, silks, organza, brocade, tissue, crepe and georgette.’
      • ‘Four bands of embroidered patterns on an indigo background are set against a handwoven pure silk fabric, dyed in natural browns and earth tones.’
      • ‘More fluid designs and flowers bloomed all over the catwalks, on everything from chiffon dresses and silk wraps to shirts, bikinis and kaftans.’
      • ‘In a box of clothes for goodwill, I found a 100% silk shirt my wife had put in it.’
      cobweb, spider's web
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2silks Garments made from silk, especially as worn by a jockey in the colors of a particular horse owner.
      • ‘The latter are individually decorated, one in the colour of Lester Piggott's silks when he rode the Duke of Chatsworth's winning horse at Ascot.’
      • ‘In fact, a 20 lb sack of potatoes dressed in racing silks and strapped to a thoroughbred's back could easily be mistaken for Kieran at work!’
      • ‘They managed to find him racing silks, and the only outstanding dilemma was to acquire a horse big enough to carry him.’
      • ‘Paintings of past and present champions in action, horseshoe-shaped ear-rings and ties and scarves with jockeys' silks on them are all on sale.’
      • ‘To prepare, the chartmen memorize the jockey's silks, become aware of the horse's coloring.’
      • ‘Mr and Mrs Braddock have started a collection of racing silks that will be on display together with photographs of some noted local winners and stable characters.’
      • ‘Marketing bosses even registered his bright orange and yellow racing silks with the Jockey Club for the remarkable stunt.’
      • ‘All the racing silks, rare photographing, sashes and horse blankets were on display along with videos of the great races from the era of Dawn Run right up to present day champions Florida Pearl and Margarula.’
      • ‘The movement to add advertising to jockeys' silks leaped forward at the Kentucky Derby, two days after a judge overruled Kentucky regulations prohibiting such ads.’
      • ‘Two English jockeys, in racing silks with whips, compete with each other for the audience's attention in a notional horse race.’
      • ‘Supporters have worn replica jockey's silks and sashes bearing the horse's name.’
      • ‘I Two Step Too, one of the horses who portrayed Seabiscuit in the recent feature film, will be paraded on the track under a jockey bearing the silks of Charles Howard, Seabiscuit's owner.’
      • ‘Also during the meeting, they approved a regulation with revised language to permit advertising on owner silks, jockey attire, and track saddlecloths.’
      • ‘Jockeys also weigh in afterwards, but riders may actually weigh more if they have accumulated mud or excessive dirt on their pants or silks during the race.’
      • ‘Dawn Remblance, from Bridlington, is influenced by the horse's name and the colour of jockey silks when it comes to backing horses.’
      • ‘The jockeys riding in the race will instead wear silks in colors chosen by the sponsor, paint manufacturer Dulux.’
      • ‘The jockeys wore brightly coloured silks, their six mounts were unusual, the distance short and the state of the track declared ‘concrete hard’.’
      • ‘Beside the replica Melbourne Cup on Oliver's casket lay the jockey's silks, rosary beads, and an Australian Rules Football jersey.’
      • ‘Highclere's light blue silks are a familiar sight on the racecourse’
      • ‘Brilliant blues, pretty pinks, searing yellows and grassy greens are the traditional colours of jockey silks, but at York's forthcoming race meetings we will be seeing these hues off the course as well.’
    3. 1.3British informal A Queen's (or King's) Counsel.
      • ‘There were people being led around by what I imagine were solicitors or junior barristers, the silks moving between courts, of which there appears to be the best part of 100 housed there, courts that is.’
      • ‘After an outstanding career as a silk, your Honour was appointed to the New South Wales Court of Appeal in 2000.’
      • ‘I dare say that had she briefed a silk in the first place she would have been acquitted and saved a large sum because the case would not have run for five days let alone five weeks.’
      • ‘At the time the first appointees were expected to be chosen by Easter, the traditional time for the annual announcement of new silks.’
      • ‘Together with Crystal and Ham, he is known as a member of the ‘million-a-year club’ of top London silks.’
      • ‘And your Lordship will, of course, note that the claimant was represented by a silk and junior in this case.’
    4. 1.4 Any silklike threads that grow in plants, such as at the end of an ear of corn or in a milkweed pod.
      • ‘Then cut into thin pieces; boil over low heat in water with 20g corn silk, and season with salt.’
      • ‘Corn silk and leaves were tangled in his curls and clung to his clothes.’
      • ‘The tassel on the corn had to pollinate the silk, otherwise no corn will grow.’
      • ‘She had hair like corn silk, he like rich dark chocolate.’

Origin

Old English sioloc, seolec, from late Latin sericum, neuter of Latin sericus, based on Greek Sēres, the name given to the inhabitants of the East Asian countries from which silk first came overland to Europe.

Pronunciation

silk

/sɪlk//silk/