noun 1 : a recording of moving images that tells a story and that people watch on a screen or television : motion picture 2 movies plural : a showing of a motion picture especially in a theater also : a theater that shows movies 3 movies plural : the business of making movies : the motion-picture medium or industry
It’s short for “moving picture,” but movie is, and has been, the go-to word for this entertainment darling for many decades, especially in U.S. English. Film will do too, especially when the motion picture in question is one that asks to be taken seriously.
What the modern speaker might not immediately recognize is how goofy the word is: the -ie is a diminutive suffix that’s typically applied to emphasize that something is little or cute (think “doggie,” “cutie,” and “bet your sweet bippie”). Movie has been appearing in print since at least 1909, but it wasn’t heard in a Supreme Court decision until 1946, which is 46 years after “moving picture” and “motion picture” had crossed the docket.
Talkie, which refers to the novelty that was a movie with sound back in the day, was modeled on movie. Current earliest print evidence of that word is from 1913.