[ pel-i-kuh l ]
/ ˈpɛl ɪ kəl /


a thin skin or membrane; film; scum.
Photography. a thin, partially reflective coating, as on a beam splitter or pellicle mirror.

Origin of pellicle

1535–45; < Latin pellicul(a), equivalent to pelli(s) skin + -cula -cle1

Related forms

pel·lic·u·lar [puh-lik-yuh-ler] /pəˈlɪk yə lər/, pel·lic·u·late [puh-lik-yuh-lit, -leyt] /pəˈlɪk yə lɪt, -ˌleɪt/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pellicle

British Dictionary definitions for pellicle


/ (ˈpɛlɪkəl) /


a thin skin or film
the hard protective outer layer of certain protozoans, such as those of the genus Paramecium
  1. the thin outer layer of a mushroom cap
  2. a growth on the surface of a liquid culture
photog the thin layer of emulsion covering a plate, film, or paper

Derived Forms

pellicular (pɛˈlɪkjʊlə), adjective

Word Origin for pellicle

C16: via French from Latin pellicula, from pellis skin
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

Medicine definitions for pellicle


[ pĕlĭ-kəl ]


A thin skin or film on the surface of a liquid.

Related forms

pel•licu•lar (pə-lĭkyə-lər) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.