[pel-i-kuh l]


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 formspel·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

Historical Examples of pellicle

British Dictionary definitions for pellicle



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 Formspellicular (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

Word Origin and History for pellicle

1540s, from Middle French pellicle (Modern French pellicule), from Latin pellicula "small or thin skin," diminutive of pellis "skin, leather, parchment, hide" (see film (n.)). Related: Pellicular.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pellicle in Medicine




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