verb (used with object)

to cover with a film, thin skin, or pellicle: filmed eyes.
  1. to photograph with a motion-picture camera.
  2. to reproduce in the form of motion pictures: to film a novel.

verb (used without object)

to become covered by a film: The water filmed over with ice.
  1. to be reproduced in a motion picture, especially in a specified manner: This story films easily.
  2. to direct, make, or otherwise engage in the production of motion pictures.

Nearby words

  1. fillister head,
  2. fillmore,
  3. fillmore, millard,
  4. filly,
  5. fillér,
  6. film badge,
  7. film clip,
  8. film colour,
  9. film gate,
  10. film library

Origin of film

before 1000; 1890–95 for def 6; 1900–05 for def 7; Middle English filme, Old English filmen membrane; akin to fell4

Related formsfilm·like, adjectivere·film, verb (used with object)un·filmed, adjectivewell-filmed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for film

British Dictionary definitions for film



  1. a sequence of images of moving objects photographed by a camera and providing the optical illusion of continuous movement when projected onto a screen
  2. a form of entertainment, information, etc, composed of such a sequence of images and shown in a cinema, etc
  3. (as modifier)film techniques
a thin flexible strip of cellulose coated with a photographic emulsion, used to make negatives and transparencies
a thin coating or layer
a thin sheet of any material, as of plastic for packaging
a fine haze, mist, or blur
a gauzy web of filaments or fine threads
pathol an abnormally opaque tissue, such as the cornea in some eye diseases


  1. to photograph with a cine camera
  2. to make a film of (a screenplay, event, etc)
(often foll by over) to cover or become covered or coated with a film

Word Origin for film

Old English filmen membrane; related to Old Frisian filmene, Greek pelma sole of the foot; see fell 4

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for film
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for film




A light-sensitive or x-ray-sensitive substance used in taking photographs or radiographs.
A thin layer or membranous coating.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.