American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A movie characterized by low-key lighting, a bleak urban setting, and corrupt, cynical characters.
- n. The genre or style of such movies.
- n. A film characterized by low-key lighting, a bleak urban setting, and corrupt, cynical or desperate characters.
- n. a movie that is marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, menace, and cynical characters
- Borrowing from French film noir (literally "black film") (Wiktionary)
- French : film, film + noir, black. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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