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90s Slang You Should Know


[sin-uh-muh] /ˈsɪn ə mə/
Chiefly British. motion picture.
the cinema, motion pictures collectively, as an art.
Chiefly British. a motion-picture theater.
Origin of cinema
First recorded in 1895-1900; short for cinematograph
Related forms
[sin-uh-mat-ik] /ˌsɪn əˈmæt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
cinematically, adverb
uncinematic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cinema
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the years immediately preceding the war the cinema demands an evergrowing if not altogether appreciative attention.

  • I know you affect to scorn the cinema, and this was it, tremolo and all.

    Coming Home Edith Wharton
  • There is a church at one end which, having lost its sanctity, is now a cinema theatre, with luridities pasted on the walls.

  • And the objection to the cinema is not so much that it goes to Oklahoma as that it does not come from Oklahoma.

    What I Saw in America G. K. Chesterton
  • He was unfortunately drowned in Feb., 1918, whilst taking part in a cinema performance representing the Zulu War.

British Dictionary definitions for cinema


(mainly Brit)
  1. a place designed for the exhibition of films
  2. (as modifier): a cinema seat
the cinema
  1. the art or business of making films
  2. films collectively
Derived Forms
cinematic (ˌsɪnɪˈmætɪk) adjective
cinematically, adverb
Word Origin
C19 (earlier spelling kinema): shortened from cinematograph
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cinema

1899, "a movie hall," from French cinéma, shortened from cinématographe "motion picture projector and camera," coined 1890s by Lumiere brothers, who invented it, from Latinized form of Greek kinemat-, comb. form of kinema "movement," from kinein "to move" (see cite) + graphein "to write" (see -graphy). Meaning "movies collectively, especially as an art form" recorded by 1914. Cinéma vérité is 1963, from French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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