cine·​ast | \ ˈsi-nē-ˌast How to pronounce cineast (audio) , -nē-əst \
variants: or cineaste \ ˈsi-​nē-​ˌast How to pronounce cineast (audio) \ or cinéaste \ ˈsi-​nē-​ˌast How to pronounce cineast (audio) \

Definition of cineast

: a devotee of motion pictures also : moviemaker

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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.

Examples of cineast in a Sentence

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

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

First Known Use of cineast

1926, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cineast

French cinéaste, from ciné + -aste (as in enthousiaste enthusiast)

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The first known use of cineast was in 1926

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Cite this Entry

“Cineast.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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