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

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

Examples of auteur in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The era of the female auteur began gathering momentum a few years ago when writer-producer Jenji Kohan launched her women-behind-bars Netflix drama Orange Is the New Black, now streaming its seventh and final season. Hugh Hart, Fortune, "Women Creators Are Stealing the Spotlight on TV," 5 Aug. 2019 Vogueworld Selena Gomez Is Living the Sweet Life in Italy Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini is the auteur behind some of cinema’s most glamorous moments. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Selena Gomez Is Living the Sweet Life in Italy," 29 July 2019 Anderson is a celebrated American auteur with eight Oscar nominations under his belt; among his narrative films are Magnolia (1999), There Will Be Blood (2007), and Phantom Thread (2017). Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Paul Thomas Anderson made a music video for Netflix," 20 June 2019 Delivering herself onto a shaded sofa in the Chateau Marmont courtyard, the 34-year-old British auteur surveys the Sunday brunch set with the confidence of a regular. Michael O'connell, The Hollywood Reporter, "From 'Fleabag' to James Bond and Beyond: Phoebe Waller-Bridge on Death and Her Secret New Movie," 14 Aug. 2019 Now, Ray’s study of Yelp and Zagat data shows that Japanese food is one of the most expensive cuisines in America, and chefs like Masaharu Morimoto and Nobu Matsuhisa are treated like auteurs. Suyin Haynes, Time, "Fights Over 'Authentic' Chinese Food Have a Long and Complicated History. Now They're Tearing the Culinary World Apart," 8 July 2019 The crazy fusion of contemporary music, operatic hyper-drama and kinetic editing that pegged the movie as the work of a mad auteur would probably have seemed like chaos onstage. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "Will you love ‘Moulin Rouge!’ as a stage musical? Well, you’ll certainly fall in like.," 25 July 2019 There have been rewarding late-night food truck runs, meticulous multi-course dinners prepared by tweezer-wielding auteur chefs, and lots of freeway mileage spent in pursuit of things like exceptional barbecue and tacos. Patricia Escárcega,, "Patricia Escárcega’s five favorite restaurants that she reviewed this year (so far)," 3 July 2019 The Way of the Samurai further cemented his auteur status. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Director Jim Jarmusch puts his deadpan stamp on The Dead Don’t Die," 15 June 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

Statistics for auteur

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for auteur

The first known use of auteur was in 1962

See more words from the same year

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).


recurring in steady succession

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!