cine·​ast ˈsi-nē-ˌast How to pronounce cineast (audio)
variants or cineaste or cinéaste
: a devotee of motion pictures
also : moviemaker

Did you know?

Cineast is a French borrowing that made its American premiere in the mid-1920s. The French spliced together "ciné" and "-aste" to create "cinéaste," a word for a filmmaker or movie director. "Ciné" in French is just another word for "cinema," and "-aste" is a suffix that appears in words like "gymnaste" and "enthousiaste." "Cinéaste" underwent several changes once it was established in English. Some writers anglicized its spelling, shortening "-aste" to "-ast" (although "cineaste" and "cinéaste" are also still used). Others began to use "cineast" to mean "film buff," and that's the sense that is most common today.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web WIRED: Selection and recommendations for the Sundance-savvy cineast. Wired Staff, WIRED, 1 May 2004

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cineast.' 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 cinéaste, from ciné + -aste (as in enthousiaste enthusiast)

First Known Use

1926, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cineast was in 1926


Dictionary Entries Near cineast

Cite this Entry

“Cineast.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

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