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A thin, continuous layer of a material. Films may be made from paints, lacquers, metal oxides, and plastics. Plastic films are usually transparent, self-supporting flexible sheets that are used for wrapping, packaging or photographic media. Packaging films, such as cellophane, polyethylene, polyvinylidene chloride (Saran) act as barriers for water and sometimes oxygen. Photographic film, or [[safety film], has been made with polyester since 1965; prior to that it was made with acetate.

Synonyms and Related Terms

film; película (Esp.); pellicule (Fr.); film (Fr.); pellicola (It.); filme (Port.); película (Port.)


  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Theodore J. Reinhart, 'Glossary of Terms', Engineered Plastics, ASM International, 1988
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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