\ 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 The crime scene is very extensive and is at three locations, at least. Chris Harris,, "Suspects in Jersey City Shootout That Killed 6 People 'Targeted' Kosher Grocery Store, Mayor Says," 11 Dec. 2019 In her first scene, Scruggs profanely boasts to a group of other female reporters about nabbing salacious front-page scoops. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Richard Jewell Offers a Murky Picture of Heroism," 10 Dec. 2019 One poignant sleeper scene is when Howie’s try-hard wardrobe falls flat. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "How Uncut Gems Finds the Beauty in Schmuck Style," 10 Dec. 2019 In a culture where men are socialized away from empathy, listening, affection, and asking for help, Karamo’s scenes are instruction manuals: How-tos that unlock in even the most hardened guy a forgotten self. Thomas Page Mcbee, Teen Vogue, "Queer Eye's Karamo on Masculinity, Apologies, and Sean Spicer," 10 Dec. 2019 The scene is unfolding at a home in the 500 block of Schweikhrdt Street in east Houston. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Man barricaded with 1-year-old child inside east Houston home," 10 Dec. 2019 The scene was in contrast to last week's public meeting called by African-American leaders to show support for Buttigieg. Greg Swiercz, Indianapolis Star, "Pete Buttigieg declares 'South Bend is back' in farewell speech to Common Council," 10 Dec. 2019 And yet the scene was disintegrating seemingly as quickly as it was being built. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "Juice WRLD and the Tragic End of the SoundCloud Rap Era," 9 Dec. 2019 But ironically, making the scene was anything but hilarious. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," 9 Dec. 2019

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

14 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Scene.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for scene


How to pronounce scene (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on scene

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scene

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scene

Spanish Central: Translation of scene

Nglish: Translation of scene for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scene for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about scene

Comments on scene

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


delight or enjoyment

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