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[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cinema
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I suspected a false idea of this rude life had been given by the cinema dramas.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • No theaters, cinema shows but three nights a week, and this an off night.

    Mixed Faces Roy Norton
  • If I had my way I'd be as pretty as a cinema star and twice as soulful.

    Mixed Faces Roy Norton
  • As it is, she had the greatest difficulty in keeping them, because there's no cinema near.

    A Boswell of Baghdad E. V. Lucas
  • I know you affect to scorn the cinema, and this was it, tremolo and all.

    Coming Home Edith Wharton
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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