Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of or relating to the film noir genre.
  • adjective Of or relating to a genre of crime literature featuring tough, cynical characters and bleak settings.
  • adjective Suggestive of danger or violence.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Black; in roulette, the space in which are placed bets on the color of the number coming black.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective film, TV Of or pertaining to film noir, or the atmosphere associated with that genre
  • noun A production in the style of film noir

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Short for film noir. Sense 2, short for French roman noir, black novel.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From film noir and French noir

Examples

  • Editor Tim McLoughlin has selected stories that truly deserve the term noir, which is unusual now that "noir" seems to be used for everything that isn't a cozy.

    Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

  • The term noir was coined in 1946 by French critics reviewing a group of American thrillers, including Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity and Otto Preminger's Laura, both from 1944, to mark a phenomenon they thought new to American cinema, a "harsh," "true to life" quality, a mood of "pessimism and despair."

    Day into Noir

  • The term noir was coined in 1946 by French critics reviewing a group of American thrillers, including Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity and Otto Preminger's Laura, both from 1944, to mark a phenomenon they thought new to American cinema, a "harsh," "true to life" quality, a mood of "pessimism and despair."

    Day into Noir

  • It's no coincidence, I'd say, that Isaac Asimov wrote both science fiction and murder mysteries, or that the Illuminatus Trilogy and similar works appeal to many sf readers, or that noir is everywhere in strange fiction these days, even secondary world fantasy.

    Archive 2010-01-01

  • Yes some classics will appear on many menus (boudin noir, quenelles) but ther will be great variety.

    Matthew Yglesias » In Praise of Short Menus

  • One, a lot of noir is about male characters, not female.

    Jodi Compton Answers Questions About Her First Book, The 37th Hour

  • It's no coincidence, I'd say, that Isaac Asimov wrote both science fiction and murder mysteries, or that the Illuminatus Trilogy and similar works appeal to many sf readers, or that noir is everywhere in strange fiction these days, even secondary world fantasy.

    Modality and Hamlet

  • I have a wine-loving friend who swears that pinot noir is the "perfect" wine to complement duck.

    Local with Local

  • Film noir is an interesting one, because most of the time the protagonist doesn't win.

    Bang Bang, Bang Bang

  • Most film noir is about a struggle for meaning in a cynical, sick world; sometimes its just about love.

    Bang Bang, Bang Bang

Comments

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  • black (French)

    December 1, 2007