film noir


plural film noirs -ˈnwär(z) How to pronounce film noir (audio) or films noir or films noirs -ˈnwär How to pronounce film noir (audio)
: a type of crime film featuring cynical malevolent characters in a sleazy setting and an ominous atmosphere that is conveyed by shadowy photography and foreboding background music
also : a film of this type

Examples of film noir in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to revenue collection figures, the number of cigarettes manufactured in 1875 was only 50 million — or about the number smoked in your average 1940s film noir movie. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Nov. 2023 What John would later describe as his Lost Weekend—a nod to the 1945 Billy Wilder film noir classic of the same name—began in the summer months of 1973. Jordan Runtagh, Peoplemag, 31 Oct. 2023 The two worked together again in the 1950 releases Our Very Own and Edge of Doom, a bleak film noir directed by Mark Robson. Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Oct. 2023 Inspired by fashion's taste for the thrilling simplicity of black (never has a truer statement been made), each piece is said to be imbued with the sophistication of film noir heroines. Georgia Trodd, Glamour, 3 Oct. 2023 Kröger’s second feature is more of a genre-jumping experiment, combining Hollywood sci-fi and film noir caper motifs with 1960s arthouse aesthetics to tell one mindboggling story. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2023 Stock up on visually stunning compendiums on genres such as film noir and horror cinema, directors Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock, the photography of Dennis Hopper, stylish Tinseltown icons including Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, and legends like Charlie Chaplin, to name just a handful. Danielle Directo-Meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Sep. 2023 His paintings are reminiscent of film noir and emphasize the effect of light in darkness. Steven Vargas, Los Angeles Times, 30 Aug. 2023 The feature debut of director Kim Chang-hoon is an addition to the Korean film noir genre, starring Hong Xa-bin alongside Song Joong-ki. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 24 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'film noir.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, literally, black film

First Known Use

1930, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of film noir was in 1930

Dictionary Entries Near film noir

Cite this Entry

“Film noir.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

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