au·​teur | \ ō-ˈtu̇r How to pronounce auteur (audio) , -ˈtər \

Definition of auteur

1 : a film director whose practice accords with the auteur theory broadly : director sense c
2 : an artist (such as a musician or writer) whose style and practice are distinctive

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from auteur

auteurist \ ō-​ˈtər-​ist How to pronounce auteurist (audio) \ adjective or noun

Examples of auteur in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web From major studios to independent releases, new voices and favored auteurs, winter has become one of the most exciting times of the year for horror. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Winter's Upcoming Horror Releases," 1 Jan. 2020 There were first time directors who came out the gate with strong voices, as well as auteurs who dug deep into their own lives to tell a story that resonated with audiences across the globe. Candice Frederick, Essence, "The 20 Best Black Films Of The Last Decade," 27 Dec. 2019 There were some serious clunkers from both audacious risk-taking auteurs and generally safe-betting studios who continue to search for new ways to tell familiar stories. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "The 5 biggest movie bombs of 2019, from 'Cats' to 'Charlie's Angels'," 26 Dec. 2019 The list of auteurs who have trekked to Tokyo is long: Wim Wenders, Chris Marker, Bong Joon-ho, Leos Carax, Werner Herzog, Sofia Coppola, and Abbas Kiarostami, among others. Moeko Fujii, The New Yorker, "Watching Tokyo Through the Eyes of Outsiders," 16 Dec. 2019 Now, King himself joins the list of auteurs immortalized in plastic. Nick Romano,, "Bloody Hell! Stephen King (finally) gets his own Funko figure," 18 Nov. 2019 To some extent, the reality of this trend has been masked by South Korea's impressive collection of master auteurs, most of whom arrived on the scene during the late 1990s and continue to produce some of their finest work. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "Korea's Booming Studio System Could Stifle Filmmakers' Indie Spirit," 1 Oct. 2019 What's Going On -- had largely been the province of rock auteurs. Sal Cinquemani, Billboard, "'Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814' Turns 30: All the Songs Ranked," 19 Sep. 2019 As the stakes have grown, the logic of business and the imperatives of risk reduction have permeated an industry that was once much more auteur-driven. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "Korea's Booming Studio System Could Stifle Filmmakers' Indie Spirit," 1 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'auteur.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of auteur

1962, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for auteur

French, originator, author, from Old French autor, from Latin auctor — more at author

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about auteur

Time Traveler for auteur

Time Traveler

The first known use of auteur was in 1962

See more words from the same year

Statistics for auteur

Last Updated

7 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Auteur.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on auteur

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with auteur

Comments on auteur

What made you want to look up auteur? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


experienced by way of someone else

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!