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

The West Coast of America has provided many things, cinema and, more recently, technology. Deborah Vankin,, "LACMA debuts its 'Solar Reserve,' a digital sculpture addressing energy conservation," 12 July 2018 Paul Simon, global cinema, and more Spring is in the air and Los Angeles is buzzing with fun things to do. Brittany Martin, Los Angeles Magazine, "The Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week," 28 May 2018 The action here represents the mainstream cinema's version of extreme sports and these guys have staked their claim at the summit. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mission: Impossible — Fallout': Film Review," 12 July 2018 Alejandro Ramirez, chief executive officer of the world’s fourth-largest cinema chain, Cinepolis de Mexico SA, is leading the charge, saying businessmen are worried that someone who aspires to be president should resort to divisive language. Andrea Navarro,, "Lopez Obrador's Clash With Mexico's Business Elite Is Escalating," 4 May 2018 The 10-year-old who would become one of cinema's greatest sci-fi heroes was stunned to meet comedy icon Groucho Marx. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Mark Hamill acted just like a 'Star Wars' fanboy when he met Groucho Marx," 6 Mar. 2018 Theron indisputably seizes cinema's action-queen crown. Nick Schager, Esquire, "The Best Movies of 2017," 18 Dec. 2017 Apple worked with cinema company Blackmagic on an external GPU based around a Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB of video memory. Sam Byford, The Verge, "Apple worked with Blackmagic on a new external GPU," 12 July 2018 Screenings are held within a pop-up cinema constructed inside the Hotel Petaluma. Pam Grady,, "Bay Area filmmaker’s short at SF Jewish fest inspired by Jerusalem graffiti," 12 July 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

7 Nov 2018

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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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Comments on cinema

What made you want to look up cinema? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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