Meaning of FILM in English

I. film 1 S1 W1 /fɪlm/ BrE AmE noun

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: filmen 'thin skin' ]

1 . [countable] a story that is told using sound and moving pictures, shown at a cinema or on television SYN movie American English :

Have you seen any good films recently?

film about

a film about a young dancer

2 . [uncountable] moving pictures of real events that are shown on television or at a cinema:

newsreel film

the race to be first with film footage (=pictures) of news events

3 . [uncountable] the work of making films, considered as an art or a business:

I’m interested in photography and film.

the film industry

a background in film and animation

4 . [uncountable and countable] the thin plastic used in a camera for taking photographs or recording moving pictures:

I shot five rolls of film on vacation.

record/capture/preserve something on film

The whole incident was recorded on film.

5 . [singular] a very thin layer of liquid, powder etc on the surface of something

film of

a film of oil on the surface of the water

⇨ ↑ clingfilm

• • •


■ verbs

▪ watch a film

He stayed in and watched a film on TV.

▪ see a film

We saw a good film last night at the cinema.

▪ appear in a film

She once appeared in a film with Al Pacino.

▪ star in a film (=be one of the main characters in a film)

Robert Mitchum starred in a film called 'River of No Return' with Marilyn Monroe.

▪ direct a film

The film was directed by Jean-Luc Godard.

▪ edit a film

The film was edited using the latest digital technology.

▪ make/shoot a film

Sutton has been making a film for Australian television.

▪ show/screen a film

The film is being shown in cinemas all across the country.

▪ distribute a film

Warner Bros became the first major studio to distribute its films over the Internet.

▪ a film stars/features somebody

The film starred Brad Pitt.

▪ a film is released/comes out (=it is made available for people to see)

The film is due to come out in May.

▪ a film is showing ( also a film is on British English ) (=it is being shown at a cinema)

The film is on at the Odeon Cinema.


▪ a horror/adventure/war film

He likes watching horror films.

▪ a cowboy/gangster etc film

John Wayne was best-known for his roles in cowboy films.

▪ a feature film (=a full-length film shown in the cinema)

Shane Meadows’ first feature film was 'TwentyFourSeven'.

▪ a documentary film

He has just completed a documentary film about Thomas Jefferson.

▪ an independent film (=a film made by a small film company)

Young directors began making small independent films.

▪ a foreign-language film (=a film in a language that is not the audience’s native language)

Foreign-language films seldom do well at the box office.

▪ a low-budget film

He’s currently producing his own low-budget film.

▪ a big-budget film

a big-budget film aimed at the mass market

▪ a silent film (=made in the time before films had sound)

a star of silent films

■ film + NOUN

▪ the film industry

Scorsese is a highly respected figure in the film industry.

▪ a film company/studio (=a company that produces films)

a European film company trying to compete with the major Hollywood studios

▪ a film studio (=a special building where films are made)

Many of the scenes were shot in a film studio.

▪ a film actor/star

John Voight, the American film star, is perhaps best known for his Oscar winning performance in 'Midnight Cowboy'.

▪ a film director

This year’s festival includes a tribute to the French film director Bertrand Tavernier.

▪ a film producer (=someone who controls the preparation of a film)

British film producer Alexander Korda decided to make a movie about Vienna.

▪ a film maker (=someone who makes films, especially as a director)

He is one of several exciting young film makers.

▪ a film soundtrack (=the recorded music for a film)

The film’s soundtrack was composed by Ennio Morricone.

▪ film music

In 'La Strada', Nino Rota demonstrates the poetic power of film music.

▪ a film festival

The Berlin Film Festival attracted more than 400 films from around the world.

▪ a film premiere (=the first showing of a film)

Film premieres tend to be glamorous occasions.

▪ a film crew/unit (=a group of people working together to make a film)

The film crew are making a documentary about village life.

▪ a film camera

The company produces digital film cameras.

▪ a film buff (=someone who is interested in films and knows a lot about them)

Film buffs will enjoy reading 'The 100 Best Movies of All Time'.

▪ a film critic

The review was written by 'The Daily Telegraph’s' film critic.

▪ a film school

He graduated from film school in 1998.

▪ film studies

She’s studying for a diploma in film studies.

• • •


▪ film especially British English , movie especially American English a series of images that tell a story and are shown in a cinema or on television:

What’s your favourite movie?


It won the award for best foreign film.


a made-for-TV movie

▪ motion picture formal ( also picture ) a film – used especially by people who make films or by critics:

a major Hollywood motion picture


Tell us about your latest picture.

▪ blockbuster informal a very successful film:

Steven Spielberg’s latest Hollywood blockbuster

▪ flick informal a film – a very informal use:

an action flick

▪ documentary a film that gives detailed information and facts about a particular subject:

a documentary on the rain forest

▪ feature film a film made to be shown in cinemas:

The book was later made into a full-length feature film starring Sean Penn.

▪ comedy a film intended to make people laugh:

Monroe appeared in a number of comedies.

▪ romantic comedy ( also romcom British English informal ) a film about two people who are in love, which is intended to make the people who watch it feel happy:

‘Notting Hill’ is a romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.

▪ thriller an exciting film, especially about murder or serious crimes:

‘The Birds’ is a classic Hitchcock thriller.

▪ film noir a film that shows strong feelings of fear or evil and whose characters are often immoral, or these films in general:

‘The Big Sleep’ is a classic Hollywood film noir.

▪ action film/movie a film that has lots of fighting, explosions etc:

Stallone’s latest action movie

▪ horror film/movie a frightening film about ghosts, murders etc:

She loves watching old horror movies.

▪ western a film with cowboys in it:

John Wayne is famous for making westerns.

▪ science fiction film/movie ( also sci-fi film/movie informal ) a film about imaginary events in the future or in outer space:

‘2001’ is probably the most famous sci-fi movie ever made.

▪ gangster film/movie a film about violent criminals

▪ silent film/movie an old film without any sound:

The 1920s were the golden age of silent movies.

▪ an independent film/movie a film made by a small film company

▪ animated film/movie/cartoon a film with characters that are drawn or made using a computer:

One of his first animated films was ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’.

▪ anime /ˈænɪmeɪ, -mə/ a type of Japanese animated film, which often has a science fiction story:

Miyazaki’s anime film ‘Spirited Away’ became an international success.


an anime character

▪ CGI the use of computers to create characters and images in a film:

The film uses CGI.


Disney’s latest CGI movie

▪ short a short film, usually shown before a longer movie in the cinema:

an animated short

▪ trailer a series of short scenes from a film or programme, shown in order to advertise it in a cinema, on television etc:

We had to sit through all the trailers.

II. film 2 BrE AmE verb [intransitive and transitive]

to use a camera to record a story or real events so that they can be shown in the cinema or on television:

The love scenes are sensitively filmed.

She’s in South Africa filming a documentary for the BBC.

a thriller filmed entirely on location in Washington

—filming noun [uncountable] :

Filming starts in October.

film over phrasal verb

if your eyes film over, they become covered with a thin layer of liquid

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.