- the snap made by a finger which is held down toward the palm by the thumb and then suddenly released
- a light blow or tap given in this way
- anything that stimulates or livens up; piquant element
Origin of fillipechoic extension of flip: see chirrup, chirp
- to strike, impel, or snap with a fillip
- to stimulate or liven up
- A snap or light blow made by pressing a fingertip against the thumb and suddenly releasing it.
- Something that excites or stimulates: “Spritely tabasco onions, just a little crunch for the top, were an added fillip” (Alison Arnett).
transitive verbfil·liped, fil·lip·ing, fil·lips
- To strike or propel rapidly by a fillip: filliped my ear; filliped the pretzel across the counter.
- To stimulate or arouse.
Origin of fillipImitative.
- (archaic) A flick; the act of releasing the index finger from the hold of a thumb with a snap.
- Something that excites or stimulates.
- This measure gave a fillip to the housing market.
- This athlete's victory provided a much-needed fillip for national pride.
(third-person singular simple present fillips, present participle filliping, simple past and past participle filliped)
From Middle English philippe, filippen (“to make a sound with right forefinger and thumb, snap”). Origin uncertain. Probably an alteration of Middle English flappen (“to hit, slap, clap, applaud”). More at flap.A fillip gradually became “something of small importance; a trifle.” “The rest is not worth a fillip with the finger.” And, the word could also express a short space of time (perhaps the time it took to “flick” the finger). “The tortoise..in a fillip of the finger was down in the gardens of Riu Gu.” Only in the 18th and 19th centuries did its current usage, as encouragement or stimulus, tend to dominate.