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 formscin·e·mat·ic [sin-uh-mat-ik] /ˌsɪn əˈmæt ɪk/, adjectivecin·e·mat·i·cal·ly, adverbun·cin·e·mat·ic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for cinema

film, drive-in, show, pictures, bijou, playhouse, cine, nabes, photoplay

Examples from the Web for cinema

Contemporary Examples of cinema

Historical Examples of cinema

  • I suspected a false idea of this rude life had been given by the cinema dramas.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

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

    Mixed Faces

    Roy Norton

  • No theaters, cinema shows but three nights a week, and this an off night.

    Mixed Faces

    Roy Norton

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

  • 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 British
  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 Formscinematic (ˌsɪnɪˈmætɪk), adjectivecinematically, adverb

Word Origin for cinema

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

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