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From Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. (Science: botany) The slender styles of the pistillate flowers of maize; also called silk.

2. Untwisted filaments of silk, used in embroidering. 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.

Origin: It. Floscio flabby, soft, fr. L. Fluxus flowing, loose, slack. See flux.