Definition of film noir in US English:

film noir

noun

  • 1A style or genre of cinematographic film marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace. The term was originally applied (by a group of French critics) to American thriller or detective films made in the period 1944–54 and to the work of directors such as Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, and Billy Wilder.

    • ‘Unlike other forms of cinema, the film noir has no paraphernalia that it can truly call its own.’
    • ‘The primary moods of classic film noir were melancholy, alienation, bleakness, disillusionment, disenchantment, pessimism, ambiguity, moral corruption, evil, guilt, desperation and paranoia.’
    1. 1.1 A film marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace.
      • ‘Titles of many film noirs often reflect the nature or tone of the style and content itself.’
      • ‘Here are my personal favorite film noirs in some sort of vague order.’

Origin

French, literally ‘black film’.

Pronunciation

film noir

/ˌfɪlm ˈnwɑr//ˌfilm ˈnwär/