silk

Floss \Floss\ (?; 195), n. [It. floscio flabby, soft, fr. L. fluxus flowing, loose, slack. See {Flux}, n.] 1. (Bot.) The slender styles of the pistillate flowers of maize; also called {silk}. [1913 Webster] 2. Untwisted filaments of silk, used in embroidering. [1913 Webster] 3. A body feather of an ostrich. Flosses are soft, and gray from the female and black from the male. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] {Floss silk}, silk that has been twisted, and which retains its loose and downy character. It is much used in embroidery. Called also {floxed silk}. {Floss thread}, a kind of soft flaxen yarn or thread, used for embroidery; -- called also {linen floss}, and {floss yarn}. --McElrath. [1913 Webster]