\ ˈsel How to pronounce cel (audio) \
variants: or less commonly cell

Definition of cel

: a transparent sheet of celluloid on which objects are drawn or painted in the making of animated cartoons

Examples of cel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On the other hand, the studio’s Ink and Paint Department—where the animators’ character drawings were painstakingly copied onto clear plastic sheets, or cels, then colored in—was made up almost entirely of women. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, "The Women Who Helped Build Hollywood," 28 Oct. 2019 Two unidentified artists paint animation cels in Disney Studios' inking and painting department, Burbank, Calif., 1943. Nathalia Holt, Time, "The Forgotten Women Who Helped Shape the Look of Disney Animation," 22 Oct. 2019 The soft colors and cel-shading have an ethereal quality and those visuals are fitting for a game about death. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, "Preview: ‘Oninaki’ tries to breathe new life into action RPG," 22 July 2019 The cel shading is crisp, the lines are as expressive as the original material, and in some ways the overall presentation is cleaner and nicer looking than the anime. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Ars Technica’s best games of 2018," 24 Dec. 2018 Legions of inkers and painters (all of whom were women, by the way) painstakingly finished each cel by hand and prepared them to be photographed. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, "Walt Disney Studios: Take a tour of the working lot," 25 Sep. 2017 Called axi-cel, the Kite medicine stems from a yearslong scientific collaboration with the NCI, underscoring the government agency’s central role in developing immunotherapies. Thomas M. Burton, WSJ, "Immunotherapy Treatments for Cancer Gain Momentum," 12 Oct. 2017 The Sterns' cels are being conserved in California, Costa said, but photographs of them are on view at the home. Contributing Writer, NOLA.com, "1935: The seeds are planted for Longue Vue House and Gardens," 18 Oct. 2017 Kite’s main treatment, axi-cel, is on the scientific vanguard of drugs that use the body’s immune system to fight cancer, known as cell therapy. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Gilead Has Earned the Benefit of the Doubt," 28 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cel

1933, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cel

short for celluloid

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cel

Statistics for cel

Cite this Entry

“Cel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cel. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cel

Medical Definition of Cel


More from Merriam-Webster on cel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cel

Comments on cel

What made you want to look up cel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!