A film, also known as a "movie" or a "motion picture," is a series of moving images shown on a screen, usually with sound, that make up a story. Some people like to see new films at the theater as soon as they're released.

You might pretend to be a fan of French films while secretly preferring animated films. The movie itself is a film, and you can also use the word to mean the photographic strip of plastic that runs through a camera and captures the film's images. It's also a verb, meaning to use such a camera: "Let's film a scene where you play with my cat!" The Old English root word is filmen, "membrane or thin skin."

Primary Meanings of film

a form of entertainment that enacts a story by sound and a sequence of images giving the illusion of continuous movement
make a film or photograph of something
a thin coating or layer
Full Definitions of film

n a form of entertainment that enacts a story by sound and a sequence of images giving the illusion of continuous movement

“the film was shot on location”
flick, motion picture, motion-picture show, movie, moving picture, moving-picture show, pic, picture, picture show
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a movie that is made to be shown on television
feature, feature film
the principal (full-length) film in a program at a movie theater
final cut
the final edited version of a movie as approved by the director and producer
home movie
a film made at home by an amateur photographer
collage film
a movie that juxtaposes different kinds of footage
coming attraction
a movie that is advertised to draw customers
a movie featuring shooting and violence
short subject
a brief film; often shown prior to showing the feature
docudrama, documentary, documentary film, infotainment
a film or TV program presenting the facts about a person or event
cinema verite
a movie that shows ordinary people in actual activities without being controlled by a director
film noir
a movie that is marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, menace, and cynical characters
skin flick
a pornographic movie
rough cut
the first print of a movie after preliminary editing
silent movie, silent picture, silents
a movie without a soundtrack
slow motion
a movie that apparently takes place at a slower than normal speed; achieved by taking the film at a faster rate
talkie, talking picture
a movie with synchronized speech and singing
3-D, 3D, three-D
a movie with images having three dimensional form or appearance
musical, musical comedy, musical theater
a play or film whose action and dialogue is interspersed with singing and dancing
Western, horse opera
a film about life in the western United States during the period of exploration and development
animated cartoon, cartoon, toon
a film made by photographing a series of cartoon drawings to give the illusion of movement when projected in rapid sequence
a short film and commentary about current events
a short pornographic film shown in a small coin-operated booth
Type of:
product, production
an artifact that has been created by someone or some process
a social event involving a public performance or entertainment

n a medium that disseminates moving pictures

film coverage of sporting events”
celluloid, cinema
silver screen
the film industry
Type of:
a means or instrumentality for storing or communicating information

n photographic material consisting of a base of celluloid covered with a photographic emulsion; used to make negatives or transparencies

photographic film
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film that has been shot
film on which materials are photographed at greatly reduced size; useful for storage; a magnification system is used to read the material
cine-film, motion-picture film, movie film
photographic film several hundred feet long and wound on a spool; to be used in a movie camera
a piece of photographic film showing an image with light and shade or colors reversed
orthochromatic film
a photographic film sensitive to green and blue and violet light
panchromatic film
photographic film sensitive to light of all colors (including red)
a film showing a photographic image whose tones correspond to those of the original subject
a roll of photographic film holding a series of frames to be projected by a movie projector
photographic film rolled up inside a container to protect it from light
roll film
photographic film wound on a spool
episode, sequence
film consisting of a succession of related shots that develop a given subject in a movie
X-ray film
photographic film used to make X-ray pictures
film clip
a strip of motion picture film used in a telecast
a dental X-ray film that can be held in place by the teeth during radiography
small sheet of microfilm on which many pages of material have been photographed; a magnification system is used to read the material
sound film
motion-picture film with sound effects and dialogue recorded on it
Type of:
photographic material, photographic paper
light-sensitive paper on which photograph can be printed

v make a film or photograph of something

shoot, take
photograph, shoot, snap
record on photographic film
shoot again
Type of:
enter, put down, record
make a record of; set down in permanent form

v record in film

“The coronation was filmed
cinematise, cinematize
make a film of or adopt so as to make into a film
record on microfilm
Type of:
enter, put down, record
make a record of; set down in permanent form
create, make
make or cause to be or to become

n a thin coating or layer

“the table was covered with a film of dust”
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a film of impurities or vegetation that can form on the surface of a liquid
a film of oil or garbage floating on top of water
soap film
a film left on objects after they have been washed in soap
oil slick
a thin film of oil floating on top of water (especially crude oil spilled from a ship)
dross, scoria, slag
the scum formed by oxidation at the surface of molten metals
Type of:
object, physical object
a tangible and visible entity; an entity that can cast a shadow

n a thin sheet of (usually plastic and usually transparent) material used to wrap or cover things

plastic film
(trade mark) a plastic film that can polarize a beam of light; often used in sunglasses to eliminate glare
the clinging transparent plastic film that is used to shrinkwrap something
Type of:
flat solid, sheet
a flat artifact that is thin relative to its length and width
wrap, wrapper, wrapping
the covering (usually paper or cellophane) in which something is wrapped