- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /flɒs/
- (General American) IPA(key): /flɔs/
- (cot–caught merger, Canada) IPA(key): /flɑs/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɒs, -ɔːs
Uncertain. Perhaps from Middle English *flos (attested in Middle English Flosmonger (a surname)), related to English fleece. Alternatively from French floche (“tuft of wool”), from floc, from Old French flosche (“down, velvet”), from Latin floccus (“piece of wool”), probably from Frankish *flokkō (“down, wool, flock”), from Proto-Germanic *flukkô (“down, piece of wool, flock”), from Proto-Indo-European *plewk- (“hair, fibres, tuft”).
- A thread used to clean the gaps between the teeth.
- Raw silk fibres.
- The fibres covering a corncob etc.; the loose downy or silky material inside the husks of certain plants, such as beans.
- Any thread-like material having parallel strands that are not spun or wound around each other.
- embroidery floss
- (Britain) Spun sugar or cotton candy, especially in the phrase "candy floss".
- A body feather of an ostrich.
- Flosses are soft, and grey from the female and black from the male.
- A dance move in which the dancer repeatedly swings their arms, with clenched fists, from the back of their body to the front, on each side.
- To clean the area between the teeth using floss.
- (slang, African-American Vernacular) To show off, especially by exhibiting one's wealth or talent.
- 2003, Vladimir Bogdanov, All Music Guide to Hip-Hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap and Hip-Hop, Backbeat Books, page 554:
- As the label's name no doubt implies, these rappers aren't your typical crew, even if they still like to floss and represent their city.
- 2003', Wang, Oliver, Classic Material: The Hip-Hop Album Guide, ECW Press, page 134:
- 2007, Azie Faison, Agyei Tyehimba, Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler, Simon and Schuster, page 69:
- It's impossible to floss wealth without attracting envy.
- To perform the floss dance move.
From dialectal flosh (“a flush, stream of water, sluice”), from Middle English flosche, flusche, flasche, flaske (“a watery or marshy place, swamp”), perhaps from Old French flache, from Middle Dutch vlacke (“a flat area, plain”), ultimately related to Proto-West Germanic *fleutan. Compare also German Floss (“a float”).
floss (plural flosses)
- (UK) A small stream of water.
- Fluid glass floating on iron in the puddling furnace, produced by the vitrification of oxides and earths which are present.
floss (plural flosses)
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “floss” in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)