Etymology
Advertisement
fiber (n.)
late 14c., fibre "a lobe of the liver," also "entrails," from Medieval Latin fibre, from Latin fibra "a fiber, filament; entrails," which is of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Latin filum "a thread, string" (from PIE root *gwhi- "thread, tendon") or to Latin findere "to split" (from PIE root *bheid- "to split").

Meaning "thread-like structure in animal bodies" is from c. 1600 (in plants, 1660s); hence figurative use in reference to force or toughness (1630s). As "textile material," 1827. Fiberboard is from 1897; Fiberglas is attested from 1937, U.S. registered trademark name; in generic use, with lower-case f- and double -s, by 1941. Fiber optics is from 1956.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
fibre (n.)
chiefly British English spelling of fiber (q.v.); for spelling, see -re.
Related entries & more 
fibrosis (n.)
"fibrous growth or development in an organ," 1871, a Modern Latin hybrid, from Latin fibra "a fiber, filament" (see fiber) + Greek suffix -osis.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
fibrous (adj.)
"consisting of, or having the characteristics of, fibers," 1620s, from Modern Latin fibrosus, from Latin fibra "a fiber, filament" (see fiber).
Related entries & more 
fibrin (n.)
blood-clotting substance, 1800, from Latin fibra "a fiber, filament" (see fiber) + chemical suffix -in (2). So called because it is deposited as a network of fibers that cause the blood to clot.
Related entries & more 
fibril (n.)
1680s, Englishing of Modern Latin fibrilla "a little fiber, a filament," especially in botany, diminutive of Latin fibra "a fiber, filament" (see fiber). Latin fibra and fibrilla were used in 17c. physiology in English alongside nativized fibre and fibril. From 1931 as "thread-like molecular formation."
Related entries & more 
fibromyalgia (n.)
1981, said to have been coined by U.S. rheumatologist Mohammed Yunus, from Latin fibra "a fiber, filament" (see fiber) + Greek mys (genitive myos) "muscle" (see muscle (n.)) + -algia "pain." The earlier name for the condition was fibrositis.
Related entries & more 
Lycra 
elastic polyurethane fiber, 1955, proprietary name (registered by E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.) of an elastic polyurethane fiber.
Related entries & more