film noir

\ -ˈnwär How to pronounce film noir (audio) \
plural film noirs\ -​ˈnwär(z) How to pronounce film noir (audio) \ or films noir or films noirs\ -​ˈnwär How to pronounce film noir (audio) \

Definition of film noir

: 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 While unusual for a 21st-century TV drama, the rich contrast gives it the feel of a classic film noir. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, 16 Aug. 2022 Think femme fatale: a dramatic, intriguing, film noir style. Hannah Oh, Seventeen, 12 Apr. 2017 With this slangy, sleazy, politicized adaptation of a Mickey Spillane novel, Aldrich pushed the style, the tone, and the mythology of film noir to apocalyptic extremes. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 23 July 2022 Borrowing from 1940s film noir, Lasky played with light and shadow to add a grittier feel, remove background details and achieve a cinematic effect. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 20 June 2022 Poitier got his first Hollywood break playing the only Black intern in a white urban hospital who has to treat a racist criminal (Richard Widmark) in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's liberal message movie/film noir hybrid. Mark Harris,, 7 Jan. 2022 What Tarantino is to adolescent-male film noir, Dunham is to post-feminist comedy — her private fantasies modernize narrative conventions. Armond White, National Review, 17 Aug. 2022 Every Day are not true film noir or true genre films. Erik Morse, Vogue, 9 July 2022 Odie Henderson is a film critic who loves film noir, musicals, Blaxploitation, bad art, and good trash. Odie Henderson,, 20 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'film noir.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of film noir

1930, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for film noir

French, literally, black film

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The first known use of film noir was in 1930

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Last Updated

14 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Film noir.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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