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

In the independent realm, both domestic and imported, some of the most profound and obvious influences on contemporary cinema are Michael Haneke, the Dardenne brothers and Terrence Malick. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "Onscreen in Toronto: Reasons for Hope at the Movies This Fall," 13 Sep. 2019 This article is brought to you by IT Chapter Two, in cinemas soon., "6 of the Biggest Dressing Room Clowns in World Football," 4 Sep. 2019 Yet the current of liberation in Iran was soon cut; the regime became increasingly repressive and imposed religious law stringently, including on the cinema. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Paradox at the Heart of Abbas Kiarostami’s Early Films," 26 July 2019 To get an even fuller flavor of very American phenomena as depicted on cinema, here's a sampling of some of the screen's most engaging, entertaining and eclectic windows into patriotism, each paired with a complementary follow-up film. Scott Huver, CNN, "All-American double features to stream over the Fourth of July," 3 July 2019 The Taming of the Shrew,’’ leaving his distinctive mark on world cinema. Colleen Barry,, "‘Romeo and Juliet’ director Franco Zeffirelli dies at 96," 15 June 2019 In December, the conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on cinemas. Jaya Saxena, GQ, "Black Panther Will Be the First Properly Screened Movie in Saudi Arabia in 35 Years," 5 Apr. 2018 They’d recently been given a sobering piece of advice by an executive who was a woman of color, and who had witnessed the fluctuating fortunes of black cinema since the nineties. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Constance Wu’s Hollywood Destiny," 16 Sep. 2019 The French photographer, who arrived in New York in the ’70s, has become the de facto portraitist of cinema’s most inspiring auteurs, from Martin Scorsese to Sofia Coppola. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Brigitte Lacombe Steps in Front of the Camera for Miu Miu’s Women’s Tales," 1 Sep. 2019

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

10 Oct 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
chiefly British : 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.

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