cin·​e·​ma | \ ˈsi-nə-mə How to pronounce cinema (audio) , 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 Within the world of cinema, Venice holds a special place as both a picturesque setting—stories like the Talented Mr. Ripley and David Lean’s Summertime owe much of their charm to their Venetian backdrops—and a showcase for talent. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 2 Sep. 2021 For the past year and a half, there’s been little to do about the state of cinema besides hand-wring. Angela Watercutter, Wired, 20 Aug. 2021 On stage at the opening ceremony, festival director Barbera voiced his concern about the future of cinema, as the pandemic could give streaming services a further edge over theaters. Brian Lowry, CNN, 13 Aug. 2021 Technological advances during the early decades of cinema made it so that the movie musical could thrive when it was needed most. Nadine Zylberberg, Harper's BAZAAR, 6 Aug. 2021 The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the most successful franchise in the history of cinema. Eliana Dockterman, Time, 29 July 2021 James Spader has one of the most intoxicating voices in all of cinema. Carrie Wittmer, Vulture, 14 July 2021 Theater pessimists have long predicted the demise of cinema as the result of entertainment consumption habits shifting quickly to streaming and other on-demand platforms. Adam Epstein, Quartz, 12 July 2021 The result is a display of directorial bravura and bravado that stands out to this day as a high point of invention, audacity, and startling idiosyncrasy—in Hawks’s career and in the history of cinema. Richard Brod, The New Yorker, 6 July 2021

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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Last Updated

10 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cinema.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce cinema (audio) \

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on cinema

Nglish: Translation of cinema for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cinema for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cinema


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