cel·​lu·​loid ˈsel-yə-ˌlȯid How to pronounce celluloid (audio)
: a tough flammable thermoplastic composed essentially of cellulose nitrate and camphor
: a motion-picture film
a work … making its third appearance on celluloidJohn McCarten
celluloid adjective

Examples of celluloid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There is much more of the brilliance, the density and the atmosphere that was hidden behind the layers of the celluloid negative for so many years. Patrick Frater, Variety, 1 Sep. 2023 The story is set against the backdrop of Indian cinemas witnessing a massive transition from celluloid to digital where hundreds of single-screen cinemas are either in ruins or have disappeared altogether. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 10 Oct. 2022 There’s an emphasis on celluloid, with the school uniquely offering thousands in grants for senior thesis films shot on 16mm. Sydney Odman, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Aug. 2023 Christopher Nolan’s adaptation of Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin’s biography, American Prometheus, manages the astonishing feat of distilling almost every single one of the book’s 591 pages onto celluloid. Vulture, 25 July 2023 Two celluloid balls knocking together with sufficient force could set off a small explosion. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 26 June 2023 Our bar has that elusive ingredient to get the celluloid jam going. Angelique Jackson, Variety, 12 May 2023 Max talks about the fact that 90 percent of cinema history still exists only in celluloid form, even though almost nobody screens 35-mm. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, 25 May 2023 Fehér’s film, long feared lost, rises out of the celluloid dustbin to claim its place in a provocative in-between, where trouble slinks like fog and each piece of evidence is just an invitation to a new mystery. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'celluloid.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from Celluloid, a trademark

First Known Use

1870, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of celluloid was in 1870

Dictionary Entries Near celluloid

Cite this Entry

“Celluloid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/celluloid. Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


cel·​lu·​loid ˈsel-(y)ə-ˌlȯid How to pronounce celluloid (audio)
: a tough flammable plastic
: a motion-picture film
watch a western on celluloid

More from Merriam-Webster on celluloid

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