mum·​ble·​core ˈməm-bəl-ˌkȯr How to pronounce mumblecore (audio)
: a genre of narrative film focusing primarily on the intimate lives of young characters and featuring scenes of ample dialogue and minimal action
The actors (almost always nonprofessionals) rarely say what they mean; a lot of time, they don't know what they mean. … The first mumblecore film, by general agreement, was Andrew Bujalski's 2002 "Funny Ha Ha," a sweet-natured account of a young woman's post-college blues.David Denby
Greenberg's Florence lives in somewhat less of a bubble than a lot of mumblecore characters in that she is more or less gainfully employed and interacts with people older than herself.Jesse Hassenger

Examples of mumblecore in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tetewsky and Pikovsky’s film mirrors the scrappiness and spirit of that mumblecore touchstone, as well as its interest in small moments and mundane dialogue. Natalia Winkelman,, 21 June 2023 Ever since Greta Gerwig, prestige director and former queen of mumblecore, was announced as the director of the upcoming Barbie film, the anticipation has loomed large. Vulture, 25 May 2023 But it’s been other people who have helped transform Raiff, all but anonymous two years ago, into the Gen Z mumblecore heir apparent. Dallas News, 16 June 2022 The same collaborative meaning-making was in evidence at Wynn’s, where Wengrow was receptive to everyone, even the inevitable town-hall shaman who stood and delivered a mumblecore homily about … something. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 11 July 2022 The whole squad is primed for a good life and yet each is miserable in such a relentlessly benign way that their acquiescence turns the crime itself into a joyless affair, The Thomas Crown Affair as mumblecore. Tod Goldberg, USA TODAY, 6 Apr. 2022 Inspired by past improv and mumblecore films, improvisation and risk-taking was important on set. Meredith Woerner, Variety, 14 Oct. 2021 The main expression and key movement in that change is mumblecore, which has exerted a wide-ranging influence through its luminaries, its aesthetic, and its ideas. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 14 Oct. 2020 There’s a laid-back, mumblecore vibe to the film that might have worked had there been more irony or humor in the script, or more personality in the lead performances. Devika Girish, New York Times, 7 May 2020 See More

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

Word History


mumble + -core (in hard-core, soft-core)

First Known Use

2005, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mumblecore was in 2005

Dictionary Entries Near mumblecore

Cite this Entry

“Mumblecore.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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