What does filter mean?

Definitions for filter
ˈfɪl tərfil·ter

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word filter.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. filternoun

    device that removes something from whatever passes through it

  2. filterverb

    an electrical device that alters the frequency spectrum of signals passing through it

  3. filter, filtrate, strain, separate out, filter outverb

    remove by passing through a filter

    "filter out the impurities"

  4. percolate, sink in, permeate, filterverb

    pass through

    "Water permeates sand easily"

  5. trickle, dribble, filterverb

    run or flow slowly, as in drops or in an unsteady stream

    "water trickled onto the lawn from the broken hose"; "reports began to dribble in"


  1. filternoun

    A device which separates a suspended, dissolved, or particulate matter from a fluid, solution, or other substance; any device that separates one substance from another.

  2. filternoun

    Electronics or software that separates unwanted signals (for example noise) from wanted signals or that attenuates selected frequencies.

  3. filternoun

    Any item, mechanism, device or procedure that acts to separate or isolate.

  4. filternoun

    A non-empty upper set (of a partially ordered set) which is closed under binary infima (a.k.a. meets).

    The collection of cofinite subsets of is a filter under inclusion: it includes the intersection of every pair of its members, and includes every superset of every cofinite set.

  5. filterverb

    To sort, sift, or isolate.

  6. filterverb

    To diffuse; to cause to be less concentrated or focused.

  7. filterverb

    To pass through a filter or to act as though passing through a filter.

  8. filterverb

    To move slowly or gradually; to come or go a few at a time.

  9. filterverb

    To ride a motorcycle between lanes on a road

  10. Etymology: (noun) From filtrum, from West Germanic *filtiz.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Filternoun

    Etymology: filtrum, Latin.

    That the water, passing through the veins of the earth, should be rendered fresh and potable, which it cannot be by any percolations we can make, but the saline particles will pass through a tenfold filter. John Ray, on the Creation.

  2. To FILTERverb

    Etymology: filtro, low Latin; per filum trahere.

    Dilute this liquor with fair water, filtre it through a paper, and so evaporate it. Nehemiah Grew, Musæum.


  1. filter

    A filter is a device or tool that is used to remove or block certain elements, particles, or substances from a mixture, such as solid impurities from a liquid, specific frequencies from sound, certain types of light, or specific types of digital content. The removed substances are caught in the filter, enabling the cleaner or more desirable elements to pass through. Filters can be used in various areas such as water purification, air ventilation systems, photography, signal processing in electronics, or computer algorithms.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Filternoun

    any porous substance, as cloth, paper, sand, or charcoal, through which water or other liquid may passed to cleanse it from the solid or impure matter held in suspension; a chamber or device containing such substance; a strainer; also, a similar device for purifying air

  2. Filternoun

    to purify or defecate, as water or other liquid, by causing it to pass through a filter

  3. Filterverb

    to pass through a filter; to percolate

  4. Filternoun

    same as Philter

  5. Etymology: [F. filtre, the same word as feutre felt, LL. filtrum, feltrum, felt, fulled wool, this being used for straining liquors. See Feuter.]


  1. Filter

    Filter is an industrial rock group formed in 1993 in Cleveland by singer Richard Patrick and guitarist/programmer Brian Liesegang. Filter has released six studio albums, the most recent being The Sun Comes Out Tonight, which was released on June 4, 2013.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Filter

    fil′ter, n. a contrivance arranged for purifying a liquid of solid insoluble matter by passing it through some porous substance which does not allow the solid particles to pass through.—v.t. to purify liquor by a filter.—v.i. to pass through a filter: to percolate.—ns. Fil′ter-pā′per, porous paper for use in filtering; Fil′ter-pump, a contrivance devised by the chemist Bunsen for accelerating the filtering process. [O. Fr. filtre—Low L. filtrum, felt.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. filter

    [very common; orig. Unix] A program that processes an input data stream into an output data stream in some well-defined way, and does no I/O to anywhere else except possibly on error conditions; one designed to be used as a stage in a pipeline (see plumbing). Compare sponge.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. filter

    In electronics, a device which transmits only part of the incident energy and may thereby change the spectral distribution of energy: a. High pass filters transmit energy above a certain frequency; b. Low pass filters transmit energy below a certain frequency; c. Band pass filters transmit energy of a certain bandwidth; d. Band stop filters transmit energy outside a specific frequency band.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. filter

    A strainer to free water from its impurities, usually termed by seamen drip-stone (which see).

Suggested Resources

  1. filter

    Song lyrics by filter -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by filter on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Filter is ranked #38103 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Filter surname appeared 582 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Filter.

    96.3% or 561 total occurrences were White.
    1.7% or 10 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.3% or 8 total occurrences were of two or more races.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'filter' in Nouns Frequency: #1863

Anagrams for filter »

  1. lifter

  2. trifle

  3. relift

  4. fertil

How to pronounce filter?

How to say filter in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of filter in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of filter in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of filter in a Sentence

  1. Greg Gutfeld:

    So you humans do like to group things, especially when incidents happen close together, for me, you have the Rittenhouse case and you have the Arbery murders. These are close together. But it shows you that if you pick the right filter, which is the filter of self-defense, you would have easily predicted the outcomes of both cases.

  2. Anthony Marchese:

    The analogy that I use is, you own a Ferrari that has a $50 oil filter under the hood, without that oil filter, that Ferrari is useless.

  3. Tom Emrich:

    What I don’t like are the notifications, because they aren’t contextual and there’s no way to filter them based on what I want to see and what I don’t want to see, google Glass could have solved the ergonomic problem with having to glance down at a smartphone constantly, yet having every single text message and email pop-up is not helpful.

  4. Sophie Power:

    When the gases pass through our filter there's a chemical reaction that absorbs them into our filter.

  5. Newark Schools Superintendent Chris Cerf:

    The dates on the filter housing do not necessarily correspond to the dates of the filter replacement.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for filter

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for filter »


Find a translation for the filter definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"filter." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 10 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/filter>.

Discuss these filter definitions with the community:

1 Comment
  • Daniel McColley
    Daniel McColley
    What does it mean when Facebook wants to filter stuff on my profile
    LikeReply8 years ago

Are we missing a good definition for filter? Don't keep it to yourself...

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Browse Definitions.net


Are you a words master?

feelings of great warmth and intensity
  • A. fervidness
  • B. meerschaum
  • C. urus
  • D. chin-wag

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for filter: