from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A movie.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A play for representation or exhibition by moving pictures; also, the moving-picture representation of a play.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a theatrical play that has been filmed for showing as a movie.
  • noun a novel adapted from a movie and illustrated with photographic stills taken from the film. Usage largely confined to the silent era of Hollywood.
  • noun a term used by certain newspapers of the 1910s referring to the movie itself; sometimes used interchangeably with the term "motion picture."


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • The crude and facetious would be apt to suggest that the equivalent of the lasso in the photoplay is the word trouble, possibly for the hero, but probably for the villain.

    The Art of the Moving Picture

  • This apparent thinness California has in common with the routine photoplay, which is at times as shallow in its thought as the shadow it throws upon the screen.

    The Art of the Moving Picture

  • If the photoplay is the consistent utterance of its scenes, if the actors are incarnations of the land they walk upon, as they should be,

    The Art of the Moving Picture

  • The real death in the photoplay is the ritualistic death, the real birth is the ritualistic birth, and the cathedral mood of the motion picture which goes with these and is close to these in many of its phases, is an inexhaustible resource.

    The Art of the Moving Picture

  • Superficial impressions suggest the opposite and still leave the esthetically careless observer in the belief that the photoplay is a cheap substitute for the real drama, a theater performance as good or as bad as a photographic reproduction allows.

    The Photoplay A Psychological Study

  • Each element of the photoplay is a picture, flat like that which the painter creates, and the pictorial character is fundamental for the art of the film.

    The Photoplay A Psychological Study

  • For the photoplay, which is not bound to the physical succession of events but gives us only the pictorial reflection, there is an unlimited field for the expression of these attitudes in ourselves.

    The Photoplay A Psychological Study

  • The voice has been stilled: the photoplay is a dumb show.

    The Photoplay A Psychological Study

  • Yet the majority of authors claim that the true field for the photoplay is the practical life which surrounds us, as no artistic means of literature or drama can render the details of life with such convincing sincerity and with such realistic power.

    The Photoplay A Psychological Study

  • Flick's site especially has some very lovingly reconstructed "photoplay" versions of key scenes (Such as in LA CEREMONIE) wherein the class resentment is subtly illuminated.

    Bright Lights After Dark


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