\ ˈsēn How to pronounce scene (audio) \

Definition of scene

1 : one of the subdivisions of a play: such as
a : a division of an act presenting continuous action in one place
b : a single situation or unit of dialogue in a play the love scene
c : a motion-picture or television episode or sequence
2a : a stage setting
b : a real or imaginary prospect suggesting a stage setting a sylvan scene
3 : the place of an occurrence or action : locale scene of the crime
4 : an exhibition of anger or indecorous behavior He has stolen her salad, but she's too well-mannered to make a scene [=act in a disruptive way].— Vincent Canby
5a : sphere of activity the drug scene
b : situation a bad scene
behind the scenes
1 : out of public view also : in secret
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

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Examples of scene in a Sentence

The play's opening scene takes place in the courtyard. The actor was nervous about his big scene. Police are now at the scene.
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Recent Examples on the Web When the octopus is again threatened by a shark, the men capture a thrilling chase scene. Steve Dollar, Los Angeles Times, "‘My Octopus Teacher’ offers an intimacy with nature rarely seen," 6 Apr. 2021 Her restaurant was known for a busy counter-service scene and coveted tables that many people would sell an UppaBaby stroller for., "Mary Ting Hyatt envisions a bagel shop for a post-pandemic era," 6 Apr. 2021 The first example in his TikTok is an aquarium scene, but things get really cool after that. Maren Estrada, BGR, "TikTokers are obsessed with this brilliant trick – do it yourself for $56 at Amazon," 5 Apr. 2021 Sari Lindroos lives within the evacuation zone, and described a rather typical Monday scene to CBS News. Li Cohen, CBS News, ""A ticking time bomb": Floridians near reservoir on brink of collapse fear what lies ahead as wastewater continues to leak," 5 Apr. 2021 Most importantly, Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) and newbie boyfriend Winston Ndugu (Anthony Hill) get engaged during a scene that will bring happy tears to your eyes. Ariana Romero,, "Lexie & [Redacted] Came Back To Grey’s Anatomy & Changed Everything," 5 Apr. 2021 There’s a scene near the end of the episode when Olivia Benson returns, hoping to hash things out with Stabler about the past rupture in their partnership. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, "Organized Crime Is Not What We Need From Law & Order," 2 Apr. 2021 Now, the first day of April meant the first day for baseball, and a scene that would have been impossible last summer. New York Times, "Baseball and Its Fans Are Back. Just Not Way, Way Back.," 1 Apr. 2021 The episode began with Benson rushing through traffic in New York, only to arrive at a crime scene and find a familiar face being carried into an ambulance after a car bomb went off. Ally Mauch,, "Stabler Returns in the Law & Order: SVU and Organized Crime Crossover Event: Recap," 1 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scene.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of scene

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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Time Traveler for scene

Time Traveler

The first known use of scene was circa 1520

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Statistics for scene

Last Updated

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for scene



English Language Learners 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


\ ˈsēn How to pronounce scene (audio) \

Kids Definition of scene

1 : a division of an act in a play
2 : a single interesting or important happening in a play or story a fight scene
3 : the place of an event or action the scene of a crime
4 : a view or sight that resembles a picture a winter scene
5 : a display of anger or bad behavior


Medical Definition of scene

— see primal scene

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Comments on scene

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