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silver screen

The movie industry is sometimes called the silver screen. In the early days of film, a silver screen was a specific type of screen onto which films were projected.

As a general term for the movies, silver screen is a figure of speech called a metonym, a word that comes from an object closely associated with it. In this case, the silver lenticular screen was made from either woven silk and other fabrics or sheets coated with silver dust, and used with the earliest projectors. These metallic screens are old-fashioned, and so is the broader term for the entire cinema industry.

Definitions of silver screen
  1. noun
    a white or silvered surface where pictures can be projected for viewing
    synonyms: projection screen, screen
    see moresee less
    types:
    wide screen
    a projection screen that is much wider than it is high
    type of:
    surface
    the outer boundary of an artifact or a material layer constituting or resembling such a boundary
  2. noun
    the film industry
    see moresee less
    type of:
    celluloid, cinema, film
    a medium that disseminates moving pictures
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