From Middle English filme, from Old English filmen, from Proto-Germanic *filminją (compare Proto-Germanic *felma-), from Proto-Indo-European, from *pel-. Cognate with Old Frisian filmene, Dutch vel, German Fell, Swedish fjäll, Norwegian fille, Lithuanian plėvē, Russian плева́, Ancient Greek πέλμα. More at fell. Sense of a thin coat of something is 1577, extended by 1845 to the coating of chemical gel on photographic plates. By 1895 this also meant the coating plus the paper or celluloid.
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