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Meaning of filter

fil•ter

Pronunciation: (fil'tur), [key]
— n.
  1. any substance, as cloth, paper, porous porcelain, or a layer of charcoal or sand, through which liquid or gas is passed to remove suspended impurities or to recover solids.
  2. any device, as a tank or tube, containing such a substance for filtering.
  3. any of various analogous devices, as for removing dust from air or impurities from tobacco smoke, or for eliminating certain kinds of light rays.
  4. a filter-tipped cigarette or cigar.
  5. a lens screen of dyed gelatin or glass for controlling the rendering of color or for diminishing the intensity of light.
  6. a circuit or device that passes certain frequencies and blocks others.
  7. a collection of subsets of a topological space, having the properties that the intersection of two subsets in the collection is a subset in the collection and that any set containing a subset in the collection is in the collection.
—v.t.
  1. to remove by the action of a filter.
  2. to act as a filter for; to slow or partially obstruct the passage of: The thick leaves filtered the sunlight.
  3. to pass through or as through a filter.
—v.i.
  1. to pass or slip through slowly, as through an obstruction or a filter: Enemy agents managed to filter into the embattled country.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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