[ pel-i-kuhl ]
See synonyms for pellicle on
  1. a thin skin or membrane; film; scum.

  1. Photography. a thin, partially reflective coating, as on a beam splitter or pellicle mirror.

Origin of pellicle

First recorded in 1535–45; from Latin pellicul(a), equivalent to pelli(s) “skin” + -cula noun suffix (see -cle1)

Other words from pellicle

  • 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

Words Nearby pellicle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use pellicle in a sentence

  • Mosses have the most simple seed, consisting only of the germ, without pellicle, and without lobes.

  • Prepare gelatine and agar plates in the usual way from such of these tubes as show pellicle formation.

  • The slight pellicle which coats over milk when it is warmed is of the same composition.

    The Book of Cheese | Charles Thom and Walter Warner Fisk
  • It is, in reality, a thin pellicle of semi-transparent horn secreted by the cells of the perioplic ring.

    Diseases of the Horse's Foot | Harry Caulton Reeks
  • While the egg is fastened to the ovarium, it derives its nutriment from the vessel of the common pellicle.

    Buffon's Natural History, Volume III (of 10) | Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon

British Dictionary definitions for pellicle


/ (ˈpɛlɪkəl) /

  1. a thin skin or film

  2. the hard protective outer layer of certain protozoans, such as those of the genus Paramecium

  1. botany

    • the thin outer layer of a mushroom cap

    • a growth on the surface of a liquid culture

  2. photog the thin layer of emulsion covering a plate, film, or paper

Origin of pellicle

C16: via French from Latin pellicula, from pellis skin

Derived forms of pellicle

  • pellicular (pɛˈlɪkjʊlə), adjective

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