col·​lo·​di·​on kə-ˈlō-dē-ən How to pronounce collodion (audio)
: a viscous solution of pyroxylin used especially as a coating for wounds or for photographic films

Examples of collodion in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Great Britain at the advent of the photographic medium and using a collodion wet plate process, Cameron took long exposure portraits of people and children. Seth Combs, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Apr. 2023 In other cases, the information is real: the annotation for the photograph Plate Box serves to explain the complex collodion process that Berkman employs to produce his images with legitimate material on the evolution of portrait photography in nineteenth-century New York. J. Hoberman, The New York Review of Books, 10 Sep. 2020 This image was taken at the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Facility, using a 19th-century photographic process known as wet-collodion printing. Rebecca Horne, Discover Magazine, 3 Mar. 2010 Hyatt mixed this collodion with camphor (derived from the camphor tree) and found that the product was strong yet moldable. Matt Simon, WIRED, 27 Oct. 2022 The next hot new technology, wet-plate collodion emulsions, was not much better; the plates would dry out during the long exposures required to capture faint astronomical objects. H.j. McCracken, Ars Technica, 13 Sep. 2022 Making tintypes also requires mixing chemicals that are as volatile as jet fuel and living with the smell of ether, an ingredient in the collodion used to develop the images. Pat McDonogh, The Courier-Journal, 16 Feb. 2022 The same wet-plate collodion process allowed Matthew Brady and his army of photographers to document the horrors of combat for the first time ever during the Civil War. Pat McDonogh, The Courier-Journal, 16 Feb. 2022 The aspect ratio changes into a square format and the lensing feels reminiscent of 19th century wet plate collodion photography. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 13 Jan. 2022

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

Word History


modification of New Latin collodium, from Greek kollōdēs glutinous, from kolla glue — more at protocol

First Known Use

1851, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of collodion was in 1851

Dictionary Entries Near collodion

Cite this Entry

“Collodion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


col·​lo·​di·​on kə-ˈlōd-ē-ən How to pronounce collodion (audio)
: a viscous solution of pyroxylin used especially as a coating for wounds or for photographic films

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