1. A colorless flammable material made from nitrocellulose and camphor and used to make photographic film.
a. Motion-picture film: "a strange, anachronistic sight: theater pieces transferred to celluloid" (David Ansen).
b. The cinema; motion pictures: "There are no heroes but in celluloid" (Charles Langbridge Morgan).
1. Made of or using a material made from nitrocellulose and camphor.
2. Of or portrayed on film or in motion pictures.
3. Artificial; synthetic: a novel with flat, celluloid characters.
[Originally a trademark.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.