au·​teur ō-ˈtu̇r How to pronounce auteur (audio)
: a film director whose practice accords with the auteur theory
broadly : director sense c
: an artist (such as a musician or writer) whose style and practice are distinctive
auteurist adjective or noun

Examples of auteur in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These divisions softened a bit in the 1990s, when such companies as Miramax and Sony Pictures Classics kick-started an actual marketplace for American auteurs like Quentin Tarantino and Woody Allen to make money. Stacey Wilson Hunt, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Nov. 2023 Some actors forge long-term relationships with auteurs that require sacrificing what has made them into movie stars: To ascend to a more prestigious plane, comedians furrow their brows, beauties cake themselves in dirt and teen idols talk of torturing themselves in the name of their craft. Kyle Buchanan, New York Times, 29 Nov. 2023 But even though Napoleon’s life story is grand enough to have stumped auteurs such as Kubrick, Scott has tackled that challenge with his usual workmanlike bravado, churning out another enjoyable extravaganza to go along with recent period pieces such as The Last Duel and House of Gucci. David Sims, The Atlantic, 22 Nov. 2023 In 2021, the South Korean drama — created, written and directed by auteur Hwang Dong-hyuk — became a surprise global sensation with a grim and violent allegory of capitalism exploiting the desperate many for the enjoyment of a wealthy few. Alison Herman, Variety, 22 Nov. 2023 The auteur’s humbleness, as well as his proclivity to deploy vibrant music to verbalize what his reserved characters can’t articulate, remain the signatures of his masterful body of work. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2023 The landscape of prestige TV is littered with gritty fantasy series, antihero sagas, and melancholy comedies—but the auteurs of the era have largely left the melodrama untouched. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2023 What happens when two of pop’s most inventive, genre-bending auteurs decide to team up? Liam Hess, Vogue, 21 Nov. 2023 In Argentina, a country with a huge film tradition and one of the biggest market shares for national films until economic crisis and the pandemic decimated state funding, visiting auteurs have been treated like rock stars, even such unyielding social realist directors such as the Dardenne brothers. John Hopewell, Variety, 18 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'auteur.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1962, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of auteur was in 1962

Dictionary Entries Near auteur

Cite this Entry

“Auteur.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on auteur

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