Word of the Day: Filter


fil-ter / fĭl-tər


1. a device or material with tiny openings which liquid or gas is passed through in order to remove impurities or unwanted substances

While primarily we use paper filters to stop coffee particles from ending up in our cup, paper also affects the flavour of coffee in a variety of different ways.

Ana Paula Rosas, “Green Home Brewing: Four Ways To Make “Paperless” Coffee”, ‘Perfect Daily Grind’, www.perfectdailygrind.com/2020/09/green-home-brewing-four-ways-to-make-paperless-coffee, accessed March 7, 2024

2. a device or material that permits only certain frequencies or wavelengths to pass

White is too brilliant to be seen, so yellow is its filter, its costume, revealing that pure light has not only brightness but emotional resonance and depth.

Richard Grossinger, 1944 –

3. something that holds back unwanted elements or changes the look of something

We experience things only through a filter and that filter determines what information will enter our awareness and what will be rejected. If we change the filter (our belief system), then we automatically experience the world in a completely different way.

From “The Sunfood Diet Success System” by David Wolfe, 1970 –

4. computer software that blocks unwanted material or only allows certain material to pass

I’ve learned how to use my spam filter pretty effectively.

Al Yankovic, 1959 –


1. to sift out unwanted material or information, leaving only what is useful or valuable

A great problem of the internet is how to filter information, how to discard what is not relevant or what is silly and to keep only the important information.

Umberto Eco, 1932 – 2016

2. to allow the passage of small quantities over a period of time

Other bands, looking like legitimate prospecting parties, began to filter into the Badlands.

From “The Cosmic Computer” by Henry Beam Piper, 1904 – 1964