a cotton or linen fabric of open weave used for bunting, curtains, etc.
Theater. a piece of such fabric used as a drop, border, or the like, for creating the illusion of a solid wall or backdrop under certain lighting conditions or creating a semitransparent curtain when lit from behind.

1785–95; origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
scrim (skrɪm)
an open-weave muslin or hessian fabric, used in upholstery, lining, building, and in the theatre to create the illusion of a solid wall or to suggest haziness, etc, according to the lighting
[C18: origin unknown]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"upholstery lining," 1792, of unknown origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Again, people perceive bias through the scrim of ideology.
By contrast, the eyes in any face painted by him are likely to be missing entirely or smeared shut or obscured by a milky scrim.
Nylon scrim is normally used because it is relatively light in weight, although polyester scrim is also used.
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