Definition of film in English:



  • 1[mass noun] A thin flexible strip of plastic or other material coated with light-sensitive emulsion for exposure in a camera, used to produce photographs or motion pictures.

    ‘he had already shot a whole roll of film’
    [count noun] ‘a new range of films and cameras’
    • ‘Part of the preparation is to make sure you are loaded with film and all the exposure settings on your camera are correct.’
    • ‘After you remove the protective material, the back side is shiny and looks like camera film.’
    • ‘Wearily, she checked her camera for film and took a few pictures.’
    • ‘They were just about to leave when the photographer realised that he had not put any film into the camera.’
    • ‘Since slide film does not take exposure inaccuracies in its stride, you take every shot three times.’
    • ‘He primarily shoots outdoor landscapes and scenics, using both film and digital cameras.’
    • ‘Liz just laughed, made sure there was film still in the camera and took the picture.’
    • ‘The method creates a digital image that is vivid and precise: a photograph that requires neither film nor camera.’
    • ‘On the way back to my grandparent's house, I bought some film for the camera I kept in my car.’
    • ‘So here we are again at the end of another year and several rolls of film through the camera.’
    • ‘I actually prefer to use colour film with the pinhole camera because it just looks so nice.’
    • ‘The click he'd heard was the camera running out of film, and shutting it's self off.’
    • ‘Despite still selling film and cameras, the company began to become debt ridden.’
    • ‘A security guard destroyed a roll of film and broke her camera attempting to remove the battery.’
    • ‘One year down the track, that has changed and I have now spent a few days and a roll of film with this camera.’
    • ‘This from a man who shot many tens of thousands of sheets of film in his career.’
    • ‘I have the habit of leaving film in my camera until I've forgotten what was on it.’
    • ‘The keenest cameraman of them all, who we thought must have shot at least 200 frames, admitted he had no film in his camera.’
    • ‘All you need is an album, an instant camera, rolls of film and painting materials if you are that way inclined.’
    • ‘There's no film in the camera, just numbers, so you can turn it on and do whatever you want for as long as you want.’
    • ‘As she tried to fit another roll of film into the camera, sudden loud shots were heard.’
    1. 1.1Material in the form of a very thin flexible sheet.
      ‘clear plastic film between the layers of glass’
      • ‘Leave to rise on oiled baking sheets, covered with oiled clear film, for 15 minutes.’
      • ‘The moist blots were wrapped in clear plastic film and scanned on a conventional flat bed scanner.’
      • ‘Cut the beef fillet into thin slices and, layered between sheets of plastic film, beat until extremely thin.’
      • ‘The latest version, known by the brand name Superglass, has two layers of clear film between the panes.’
      • ‘He uses a clear plastic film over seeds or young plants to generate more heat.’
      • ‘Window security film can be clear or tinted to limit transmission of infrared or visible light.’
      • ‘However, a less costly alternative is to have a clear plastic film laminated onto the glass.’
      • ‘The samples were arranged as flat as possible and wrapped in a single layer of thin polyethylene film.’
    2. 1.2[count noun]A thin layer covering a surface.
      ‘she quickly wiped away the light film of sweat’
      • ‘Dust films are a light powder of clay and silt-sized particles that adhere to rough surfaces and rock fractures.’
      • ‘She looked up at him with a disconcerted, unfocused gaze, her normally clear ice blue eyes covered with a dazed, cloudy film.’
      • ‘But look closer and the clear packaging has an unusual matte film, is slightly cloudy and slightly sticky to touch.’
      • ‘The darkness appeared as a thick, black fog across the motorway, a blue film of light surrounding it.’
      • ‘We've been dusting the last 24 hours because we found everything covered with a light film of dust.’
      • ‘Until recently, techniques for determining atomic structure haven't been agile enough to test liquids, except as very thin films.’
      • ‘Now that she was closer she could see a fine, milky-white film covering both eyes.’
      • ‘These fissures can be sealed with a resin film to protect the surface from decay.’
      • ‘The first coat should be allowed to dry overnight to give clear pink film.’
      • ‘Now think of the same image, but this time the chocolate is covered by a white film on its surface.’
      • ‘The choice of solvent mixture gives a good adhesion to the glass surface and results in thin films covering the glass plates.’
      layer, coat, coating, covering, cover, surface, sheet, patina, blanket, dusting, skin, overlay, screen, mask, wash, glaze, varnish, veneer, veil
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    3. 1.3archaic A fine thread or filament.
      ‘films of silk’
  • 2A story or event recorded by a camera as a set of moving images and shown in a cinema or on television.

    [as modifier] ‘a horror film’
    [as modifier] ‘a film director’
    • ‘She even had a clear idea of the type of film she wanted to make.’
    • ‘Having read a lot of comments about the film, one thing is clear: I need to see this film again, and soon.’
    • ‘A short documentary film has already been made about his story.’
    • ‘So far I have only been able to view the film on an American DVD.’
    • ‘The Danish director's films seem to inspire either love or loathing.’
    • ‘Approximately 113 Australian fiction films were produced in the years from 1906 to 1914.’
    • ‘It is impossible to watch this film without being pierced by their clear, small voices.’
    • ‘In August and September the concept for my film became clear and it was completed in the autumn.’
    • ‘And there are lots of people who will disagree that any one of the films by the following filmmakers failed.’
    • ‘This is a delightful family film with layers of humour designed to appeal to all age groups.’
    • ‘Apart from watching the documentary film was there any other research that you felt was necessary?’
    • ‘It was like watching a horror film unfold.’
    • ‘There is a clear warning in this film; we may be headed in the same direction.’
    • ‘The film's title is a reference to the sheet of nine rare postage stamps, which they see as their ticket to the top.’
    • ‘The film has clear mass appeal in spite of the intellectual aspirations.’
    • ‘He has recently written and directed his first feature film.’
    • ‘In the first shot of this film, the camera moves slowly down a cross.’
    • ‘The kids in this film don't seem like children.’
    • ‘The festival closes on Sunday and some of these films don't show after tonight.’
    • ‘When we made this film we were very clear that we were not going to go that route.’
    movie, picture, feature, feature film
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    1. 2.1[mass noun]Cinema considered as an art or industry.
      ‘a critical overview of feminist writing on film’
      • ‘He wrote several books on film and art, notably Dada: Art and Anti-Art.’
      • ‘Long a film buff, Verna says she's always maintained broad artistic interests.’
      • ‘His analysis proves to be both entertaining and enlightening for film buffs and academics.’
      • ‘Today, traditional art forms are practised alongside painting, photography, theatre and film.’
      • ‘On closer inspection, he found it was a Bollywood film crew.’
      • ‘No-one, in UK broadsheets at least, writes terribly convincingly about film at the moment.’
      • ‘Cox rather endearingly refers to film as ‘the movies’ with barely hidden schoolboy zest.’
      • ‘The respondent is self-employed as a contractor to the Toronto area film production industry.’
      • ‘The film industry has blamed the police for their failure in nabbing the culprits.’
      • ‘The match was organised to raise welfare fund for the Bollywood film industry's technicians and stuntmen.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the boundaries of acceptability are being pushed hard in the current round of film festival screenings.’
      cinema, movies, the pictures
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  • 1[with object] Capture on film as part of a series of moving images; make a film of (a story, event, or book)

    ‘she glowered at the television crew who were filming them’
    • ‘He also filmed a series of shows in New York earlier this year.’
    • ‘A couple of years ago, my block was shut down because they were filming a movie.’
    • ‘She was filmed by television crews casually bumping into the group and speaking to Mr Howard and Mr Norris.’
    • ‘George himself has filmed a spoken word documentary entitled Bone Bristle, now in post-production.’
    • ‘Their actions led to them being filmed by Belgian television crews.’
    • ‘The family were filmed over a period of three months and had six cameras installed in their house.’
    • ‘The cameraman who filmed the dramatic pictures in Wood Lane that night was Jon Brotherton.’
    • ‘I am filming my next movie soon and I thought that you people should be the second to know.’
    • ‘The show is filmed in a studio, which is part of the house he shares with his family.’
    • ‘If she had her way, by the time the movie was done filming, Ryan and Ann will be very cozy indeed.’
    • ‘At the end of this movie, when we do the concert, it was all filmed basically live.’
    • ‘One can only pray that they may be filmed for television and DVD.’
    • ‘The second plane, minutes later, was filmed from every angle.’
    • ‘At first I thought we were being filmed for a comedy programme or something.’
    • ‘They should film all the episodes again - except with a catch.’
    • ‘The expose was filmed on the set of her show.’
    • ‘And it certainly has to have resonated with the themes of the movie that you were filming.’
    • ‘We didn't know, but they had secretly filmed it on the opening night.’
    • ‘Well, it was filmed for television, and therefore is a full frame presentation.’
    • ‘The movie was filmed on location in Oregon and the period clothing and accoutrements are generally right on.’
    record on film, shoot, record, take pictures of, make a film of, capture on film, video, photograph
    adapt for film, make into a film
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    1. 1.1[no object]Be well or badly suited to portrayal in a film.
      ‘an adventure story which would film well’
      • ‘Furthermore, football is one of the grittiest sports, it films well, and it can be molded into just about any metaphor for life.’
      • ‘Why it is that Conrad's novels film badly while Greene's film well.’
  • 2[no object] Become or appear to become covered with a thin layer of something.

    ‘his eyes had filmed over’
    • ‘His eyes filmed over, and the eternal darkness enclosed his soul.’
    cloud, mist, fog, haze
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Old English filmen ‘membrane’, of West Germanic origin; related to fell.