Definition for SILK

SILK, n. [Sax. seolc; Sw. silke; Dan. id.; Russ. schilk; Ar. and Pers. سِلکْ, silk; properly any thread, from Ar. سَلَكَ salaka, to send or thrust in, to insert, to pass or go.]

  1. The fine, soft thread produced by the larve of the insect called silk-worm or Bombyx Mori. That which we ordinarily call silk, is a thread composed of several finer threads, which the worm draws from its bowels, like the web of a spider, and with which the silk-worm envelops itself, forming what is called a cocoon. – Encyc.
  2. Cloth made of silk. In this sense, the word has a plural, silks denoting different sorts and varieties, as black silk, white silk, colored silks.
  3. The filiform style of the female flower of maiz, which resembles real silk in fineness and softness. Virginia silk, a plant of the genus Periploca, which climbs and winds about other plants, trees, &c. No species of Periploca grows in Virginia, or any part of the United States.

Return to page 137 of the letter “S”.