diegetic

adjective

di·​e·​get·​ic ˌdī-ə-ˈje-tik How to pronounce diegetic (audio)
: of or relating to diegesis
One of the primary qualities of those texts we understand as fiction is that they generate a diegetic order that has an astonishing independence from its text.Robert Scholes
especially : existing or occurring within the world of a narrative rather than as something external to that world
What the film does do, though, to really wonderful effect, is synchronize diegetic sounds—gunshots, explosions, tires screeching, windshield wipers wiping, engines revving, etc.—with its non-diegetic pop soundtrack. David Hollingshead
Music is integral to the world of Alfonso Cuarón's Roma, but it is also incidental, experienced only as part of the action. The remarkable 2018 film contains only diegetic uses of music; no song is ever superimposed over the deliberately paced action that takes place in Mexico City's Colonia Roma neighborhood at the dawn of the 1970s. Philip Sherburne
The writer … pointed out the director's use of diegetic music. We, as viewers, only hear music when a character in the world of the story hears music. This happens when they put in earphones, turn on a car stereo or play a record. Emily Ellot

Word History

First Known Use

1970, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of diegetic was in 1970

Dictionary Entries Near diegetic

Cite this Entry

“Diegetic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diegetic. Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY