- the rough silk covering a silkworm's cocoon
- the short, downy waste fibers of silk
- a soft, loosely twisted thread or yarn, as of silk (floss silk) or cotton, used in embroideryin full embroidery floss
- a soft, silky substance resembling floss, as in milkweed pods
- dental floss
Origin of flossearlier also flosh from French floche, downy, woolly (in soie floche, floss silk), ultimately from Classical Latin floccus: see floccus
- Dental floss.
- Short or waste silk fibers, especially from the outer surface of the cocoon of a silkworm.
- Soft, loosely twisted thread, as of silk or cotton, used in embroidery.
- A downy or silky fibrous substance, such as corn silk or silk cotton.
verbflossed, floss·ing, floss·es
Origin of flossPerhaps alteration of French floche tuft of wool from Old French floc, floche from Latin floccus
(third-person singular simple present flosses, present participle flossing, simple past and past participle flossed)
- To clean the area between the teeth using floss.
- (African American Vernacular) To show off, especially by exhibiting one’s wealth or talent.
- dental floss
1750, from French floche (“tuft of wool”), from floc, from Old French flosche (“down, velvet”), from Latin floccus (“piece of wool”), probably from Frankish *flokko (“down, wool, flock”), from Proto-Germanic *flukkōn-, *flukkan-, *fluksōn- (“down, flock”), from Proto-Indo-European *plAwək- (“hair, fibres, tuft”). Cognate with Old High German flocko (“down”), Middle Dutch vlocke (“flock”), Norwegian dialectal flugsa (“snowflake”), Dutch flos (17c., “plush”). Related to fleece.
Compare German Floss a float.