I am looking at the Merriam Webster definition of "film"

In its point 3. it says "b (1) : a thin flexible transparent sheet (as of plastic) used especially as a wrapping"

How common is this usage? I am a bit reluctant to use this word, and instead prefer using "wrapping"

EDIT: I am using the word to meaning packing small objects such as candies on a series of packages of several materials (can be plastic, or paper, etc)

  • If you mean using film as a verb, no.
    – user3169
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 19:34

2 Answers 2


"Film" normally refers only to the specific type of wrapping known (at least in the US) by the most common brand name, "Saran Wrap".

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Otherwise things like candies are said to be individually wrapped in plastic (or paper).

Store-bought products that are covered in a thin plastic film are said to be shrink-wrapped.

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  • 5
    In the UK the common name for 'Saran Wrap' style products is 'Cling film'.
    – Sarriesfan
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 6:19

It really depends on the context.

I think this usage of the word film is both familiar and understandable, although it's generally seen in more of a technical context than heard in everyday conversation.

For example, I don't think I would ever say either of these to a friend, family member, or co-worker:

  • Please cover that macaroni with some film and put it in the refrigerator.
  • I need some plastic film to put over this avocado.

However, I would not be surprised to read sentences like these in a scientific journal, or in some company's promotional or training materials:

  • All monitor screens are covered with a protective film before being moved to the warehouse.
  • A thin sheet of plastic film is placed across the opening, which is then heated to create a vacuum fit.

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