• synonyms

film noir

  1. a motion picture with an often grim urban setting, photographed in somber tones and permeated by a feeling of disillusionment, pessimism, and despair.
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Origin of film noir

1955–60; < French: literally, black film
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for film noir

film noir

  1. a gangster thriller, made esp in the 1940s in Hollywood characterized by contrasty lighting and often somewhat impenetrable plots
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Word Origin for film noir

C20: French, literally: black film
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 film noir


1958, from French, literally "black film," from noir (12c.), from Latin niger (see Negro).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper