\ ˈnwär How to pronounce noir (audio) \

Definition of noir

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : crime fiction featuring hard-boiled cynical characters and bleak sleazy settings an example of classic noir
2 : film noir a comedy dressed in the trappings of an edgy noir



Definition of noir (Entry 2 of 2)

: having a bleak and darkly cynical quality of the kind associated with hard-boiled crime fiction and film noir a noir thriller In this boldly styled first novel, Komarnicki follows a 30-year-old homeless man on a noir odyssey of death and survival through the streets of New Orleans and Hong Kong.— Sybil S. Steinberg The plot of this violent fairy tale is as noir and nasty as the characters.— Marilyn Stasio

Other Words from noir


noirish \ ˈnwär-​ish How to pronounce noir (audio) \ adjective

Examples of noir in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the tradition of L.A.-based detective noir, Altman applied the skepticism once accorded to muckraking journalists and political satirists. Armond White, National Review, 4 May 2022 Jackie and Rachel Robinson, known as the couple noir, lived on Avenue de Gaspé in the francophone neighborhood of Villeray. David M. Shribman, WSJ, 11 Apr. 2022 There is a large glasshouse to invite natural light in what is otherwise a small space and the roof is finished in glossy noir to add to the tech gadget aesthetic. Nargess Banks, Forbes, 10 Dec. 2021 His work on Batman: The Animated Series crystalized a take on the character that honored both his origins in superhero comics for kids and his roots in pulp and noir. Joe George, Men's Health, 2 Mar. 2022 The Cinematheque will also screen various noir, documentary and art films over the weekend leading up to Feb. 14. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, 10 Feb. 2022 Plenty of directors would have fun remaking a landmark noir, but del Toro would be most drawn to the one set inside a circus tent. David Sims, The Atlantic, 18 Dec. 2021 Hoag adds that the new owners would enjoy wine produced by their own Pinot noir-producing vineyard, prepared in their own small winemaking facility and aged in their wine cellar. oregonlive, 6 Mar. 2022 Spring is definitely a boom time for noir in California; as the days get longer, repertory festivals get a little darker. Chris Willman, Variety, 23 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica and the rest of the Riverdale crew deal with everything from serial killers to organized crime, all in a noir-ish atmosphere. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 22 Apr. 2022 In the final installment of Christopher Nolan's trio of noir-ish Batman films, Hathaway plays Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Sophie Goulopoulos, Harper's BAZAAR, 25 Mar. 2022 Billy Wilder's bracing, noir-ish exploration of alcoholism features Ray Milland as a writer whose life devolves into a desperate hunt for his next drink over several harrowing days. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 24 Mar. 2022 Guillermo del Toro directed this new version of a noir-ish story that was first filmed in 1947, starring Tyrone Power and Joan Blondell. oregonlive, 10 Feb. 2022 Life could feel as dramatic as a noir film set all of a sudden. Tarot Astrologers,, 27 Mar. 2022 Upon its March 4 debut, director Matt Reeves' neo-noir adaptation became the second-biggest pandemic-era opening, crossing the $100 million mark with $128.5 million, per Comscore. Jessica Wang,, 20 Mar. 2022 In 1981, Hurt’s performance opposite Kathleen Turner in neo-noir classic Body Heat elevated him to stardom. Marc Berman, Forbes, 13 Mar. 2022 Levinson, both as a writer and director, slowly unveils each gent, using the Fells Point Diner as their hub and playing much of the action at night, which gives much of the film a dark attractive and almost noir mood. Robert Osborne, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of noir


1977, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1958, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for noir


short for film noir

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Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Noir.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on noir

Nglish: Translation of noir for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of noir for Arabic Speakers


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