celluloid

Celluloid is a type of plastic that’s transparent and flammable. Until recently, most movies were filmed on celluloid.

Celluloid is a name for film used in shooting movies. Because of its use in making films, this term came to stand for movies in general. Its days in the projection room are now pretty much finished — due to the rise of digital filming — but the figurative meaning lives on, wherever stars aspire. For example, you could say a TV actor was making the move from the small screen to celluloid. Besides movies, celluloid is used in shooting x-rays.

Definitions of celluloid
  1. noun
    highly flammable substance made from cellulose nitrate and camphor; used in e.g. motion-picture and X-ray film; its use has decreased with the development of nonflammable thermoplastics
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    type of:
    thermoplastic, thermoplastic resin
    a material that softens when heated and hardens again when cooled
  2. noun
    a medium that disseminates moving pictures
    “theater pieces transferred to celluloid
    synonyms: cinema, film
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    types:
    silver screen
    the film industry
    type of:
    medium
    a means or instrumentality for storing or communicating information
  3. adjective
    artificial as if portrayed in a film
    “a novel with flat celluloid characters”
    synonyms: synthetic
    artificial, unreal
    contrived by art rather than nature
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