noir

noun
\ 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

noir

adjective

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

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Other Words from noir

Noun

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

Examples of noir in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The whole thing is very film noir, which may connect to the noir episode coming later this season. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "9 Secret Signs in the New "Riverdale" Trailer That Prove Season 3 Part 2 Will Be Epic," 10 Jan. 2019 There was Yara Shahidi's soft rosy lids and voluminous curls, Laura Harrier's fuschia frock and matching magenta pout, and across the carpet, Lady Gaga swiped on a goth noir lipstick to offset her angelic white gown. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The Best Beauty Looks From the 2019 SAG Awards," 28 Jan. 2019 By playing up the noir aspects of Mrs. Appleyard’s secret history and giving Miranda a clear motivation for fleeing, the show becomes a blazing feminist allegory. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "Picnic at Hanging Rock," 22 May 2018 At his Fall 2019 menswear show for his eponymous brand tonight, the designer took inspiration from another David Lynch classic, the auteur’s 1986 neo-noir Blue Velvet. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Laura Dern Was on the Clothing—And in the Front Row—at Raf Simons," 17 Jan. 2019 The series first seems to be a simple murder mystery, with a new-noir take on the archetypal protagonist. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "TV Technica 2018: Our favorite shows and binges," 24 Dec. 2018 Plus, the reveal video forgoes music, so there's no telling whether original composer Yoko Kanno will return with her inimitable noir-jazz chops. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Netflix’s anime announcement frenzy, capped off by live-action Cowboy Bebop," 28 Nov. 2018 From The Handmaid’s Tale to the new neo-noir film Under the Silver Lake (out this Friday), 2018 has been Sydney Sweeney’s year. Lisa Mischianti, Marie Claire, "Get to Know The Handmaid’s Tale's Sydney Sweeney," 4 Dec. 2018 Riverdale, for the uninitiated, is the CW’s noir, modern-day adaptation of the midcentury Archie Comics universe. Annina Mislin, Glamour, "You Don't Know the Real Lili Reinhart," 12 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

So Dark the Night’ [from 1946, screening June 9] is noir character actor Steven Geray’s only starring role. Loren King, BostonGlobe.com, "The man who speaks film noir is on a mission," 31 May 2018 The Hollywood blacklist is an ongoing theme of Muller’s backstories; not surprising, since the postwar era was noir’s heyday and its subject matter is by definition dark and often nihilistic. Loren King, BostonGlobe.com, "The man who speaks film noir is on a mission," 31 May 2018 This narrative style fits the game’s 1950s detective noir film aesthetic. Michael Moore, The Verge, "A Case of Distrust is a minimalist noir story," 18 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of noir

Noun

1977, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1958, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for noir

Noun

short for film noir

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Statistics for noir

Last Updated

6 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for noir

The first known use of noir was in 1958

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More from Merriam-Webster on noir

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with noir

Nglish: Translation of noir for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of noir for Arabic Speakers

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