Process used to convert material from film to interlaced NTSC display rates, from 24 to 30 frames per second. This is done by duplicating fields, 2 from one frame and then 3 from the next frame (or 3 and then 2). Both terms are often used interchangeably to describe the effect.
It is important that 3:2 pulldown when dealing with scan doublers and quadruplers. Scan doublers and quadruplers work on the premise that two fields equivalent one frame. With 3:2 pulldown, this premise isn't correct, and using standard scan doubling or quadrupling techniques will not result in the best possible image. For this reason, various manufacturers of scanning doublers and quadruplers state that they have a 3:2 pulldown feature. This means that their scan doubler or quadrupler is able to detect any video that was made from movie, and it will apply a specific scan doubling or quadrupling technique that optimizes the conversion of video made with the 3:2 pulldown process. This will provide a better image than simply applying regular scan doubling or quadrupling techniques.