Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “filter”


noun [C]  /ˈfɪl·tər/ us  
a piece of equipment or a device for removing solids from liquids or gases, or for limiting the particular type of light, sound, or electricity going through it: an oil filter a coffee filter


verb [I/T]  /ˈfɪl·tər/ us  
If something filters down, in, out, or through, it appears or happens gradually or to a limited degree: [I always + adv/prep] Reports of the accident began to filter in. [I always + adv/prep] Sunlight filtered through the branches.
(Definition of filter from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of filter?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Separating and dividing, but you might be interested in these topics from the Cutting and joining topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “filter” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


When animals or people stampede, they all move quickly in the same direction, often because they are frightened.

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More