cin·​e·​ma | \ ˈsi-nə-mə, British also -ˌmä\

Definition of cinema

1a : motion picture usually used attributively
b : a motion-picture theater
2a : movies especially : the film industry
b : the art or technique of making motion pictures

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Examples of cinema in a Sentence

a student of French cinema We drove by the cinema to see what was playing.

Recent Examples on the Web

Questions of how slavery, Jim Crow, the Prison Industrial Complex, and the school-to-prison pipeline affect Black life have been the central focus of many of the best films to come out of Black cinema in the past decade. Joelle Monique, Teen Vogue, ""If Beale Street Could Talk" Highlights the Power of Love in a World Designed for Black People to Fail," 9 Jan. 2019 As a piece of conventional Hollywood cinema, Green Book has plenty to recommend it. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Green Book builds a feel-good comedy atop an artifact of shameful segregation. Yikes.," 7 Jan. 2019 But this new cinema in Berlin does just the opposite. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "In new Berlin cinema, every theater is a glowing piece of art," 24 July 2018 Bill Ernest, a 25-year veteran of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, recently joined to lead development of cinemas and other entertainment experiences. Rory Jones, WSJ, "Expats Flee Saudi Fund, Bemoan Crown Prince Control," 31 Dec. 2018 Mary Poppins is one of cinema’s most timeless heroines — a no-nonsense nanny who brings her young charges on whimsical adventures while subtly helping them learn to navigate life’s difficulties. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "The 9 Oscar contenders coming out in December," 3 Dec. 2018 Jurassic Park was showing at the local cinema, Bill Clinton arrived at the White House, Nirvana played the Cow Palace. Vogue, "You Can Now Shop Marc Jacobs’s Redux Grunge Collection Online," 29 Nov. 2018 Anyone with a passing familiarity with Italian cinema knows its artistic reputation, and Suspiria (2018) pays homage to that kind of visually stunning, edge-pushing filmmaking whenever possible. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Suspiria and Border offer two very different tales of otherworldly creatures," 26 Oct. 2018 Passengers with at least six hours to spare can take a free city tour, lounge by the swimming pool, or binge-watch flicks at the free 24-hour cinema. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Airports in the World: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018

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

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First Known Use of cinema

1909, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cinema

short for cinematograph

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Statistics for cinema

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for cinema

The first known use of cinema was in 1909

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More Definitions for cinema



English Language Learners Definition of cinema

: the film industry

: the art or technique of making movies

: a movie theater


cin·​e·​ma | \ ˈsi-nə-mə \

Kids Definition of cinema

1 : a movie theater What's playing at the cinema?
2 : the movie industry She had a long career in the cinema.

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