neo·​re·​al·​ism | \ ˌnē-ō-ˈrē-ə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce neorealism (audio) \

Definition of neorealism

: a movement especially in Italian filmmaking characterized by the simple direct depiction of lower-class life

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from neorealism

neorealist \ ˌnē-​ō-​ˈrē-​ə-​list How to pronounce neorealist (audio) \ adjective or noun
neorealistic \ ˌnē-​ō-​ˌrē-​ə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce neorealistic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of neorealism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This was after World War II, when Italian neorealism and powerful, innovative films such as Shoeshine, Bicycle Thieves, and Open City shook the world, appealing to the then-burgeoning art-movie market. Armond White, National Review, "Parasite: Anti-Americanism Returns to the Oscars," 10 Feb. 2020 Part of Bertolucci’s weariness with his own technique was most likely a regret at having just missed the era of Italian neorealism, whose glorious movies were filmed before the advent of color, in modest black and white. Lee Siegel, WSJ, "Bertolucci’s Obsessions," 30 Nov. 2018 Visconti, a longtime member of the Italian Communist Party, was also one of the founders of neorealism, dramatizing the struggles of working-class Romans, Sicilian fisherman and migrants from the southern countryside to the factories of the north. New York Times, "How Luchino Visconti Made History Sing," 7 June 2018 He and other Cinema Novo directors were influenced by Italian neorealism and the French New Wave. Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, "Nelson Pereira dos Santos, 89, Dies; Lifted Brazilian Film," 27 Apr. 2018 That was the year that Marcello Mastroianni, the face of Italian neorealism, was on the big screen, holding down the starring role in Fellini's classic La Dolce Vita. Maura Kelly, Marie Claire, "The 10 Hottest International Male Movie Stars Evvv-ah," 28 May 2010 In between rehearsals, as the townspeople race to meet the summer deadline, the film intercuts stills and clips from past productions, which demonstrate a range of inventiveness and inspiration from neorealism to theater of the absurd. Peter Keough,, "Village theatricals; film and fashion; Posner on parade," 5 Apr. 2018 Its realistic treatment of everyday Italian life heralded the postwar renaissance of the Italian cinema and the development of neorealism; the film astonished audiences around the world and remains a masterpiece. Patrick Friel, Chicago Reader, "Film / Television This Week on Filmstruck: Anna Magnani," 19 Jan. 2018 Can a show that asks viewers be aware of Italian neorealism be popcorn enough? Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic's Notebook: What Is This "Prestige Popcorn" TV AMC Is Targeting?," 16 Jan. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of neorealism

1950, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for neorealism

neo- + realism (after Italian neorealismo)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about neorealism

Time Traveler for neorealism

Time Traveler

The first known use of neorealism was in 1950

See more words from the same year

Statistics for neorealism

Cite this Entry

“Neorealism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on neorealism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with neorealism Encyclopedia article about neorealism

Comments on neorealism

What made you want to look up neorealism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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