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noun \ˈsēn\

Simple Definition of scene

  • : a division of an act in a play during which the action takes place in a single place without a break in time

  • : a part of a play, movie, story, etc., in which a particular action or activity occurs

  • : a view or sight that looks like a picture

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of scene

  1. 1 :  one of the subdivisions of a play: asa :  a division of an act presenting continuous action in one placeb :  a single situation or unit of dialogue in a play <the love scene>c :  a motion-picture or television episode or sequence

  2. 2a :  a stage settingb :  a real or imaginary prospect suggesting a stage setting <a sylvan scene>

  3. 3 :  the place of an occurrence or action :  locale <scene of the crime>

  4. 4 :  an exhibition of anger or indecorous behavior <make a scene>

  5. 5a :  sphere of activity <the drug scene>b :  situation <a bad scene>

behind the scenes
  1. 1 :  out of public view; also :  in secret

  2. 2 :  in a position to see the hidden workings <taken behind the scenes and told just how in fact the actual government…has operated — William Clark>

Examples of scene in a sentence

  1. The play's opening scene takes place in the courtyard.

  2. The actor was nervous about his big scene.

  3. Police are now at the scene.

Origin of scene

Middle French, stage, from Latin scena, scaena stage, scene, probably from Etruscan, from Greek skēnē shelter, tent, building forming the background for a dramatic performance, stage; perhaps akin to Greek skia shadow — more at shine

First Known Use: circa 1520

Other Performing Arts Terms

SCENE Defined for Kids


noun \ˈsēn\

Definition of scene for Students

  1. 1 :  a division of an act in a play

  2. 2 :  a single interesting or important happening in a play or story <a fight scene>

  3. 3 :  the place of an event or action <the scene of a crime>

  4. 4 :  a view or sight that resembles a picture <a winter scene>

  5. 5 :  a display of anger or bad behavior

Medical Dictionary


Medical Definition of scene

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up scene? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to dishevel or rumple

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