sce·​nar·​io | \sə-ˈner-ē-ˌō, US also and especially British -ˈnär-\
plural scenarios

Definition of scenario 

1a : an outline or synopsis of a play especially : a plot outline used by actors of the commedia dell'arte

b : the libretto of an opera

3 : a sequence of events especially when imagined especially : an account or synopsis of a possible course of action or events his scenario for a settlement envisages … reunification — Selig Harrison

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Synonyms for scenario


screenplay, script

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Examples of scenario in a Sentence

A possible scenario would be that we move to the city. The most likely scenario is that he goes back to school in the fall. The best-case scenario would be for us to finish the work by tomorrow. In the worst-case scenario, we would have to start the project all over again.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Consider this fun fact: An emotion commonly reported by people whose efforts end in worst-case scenarios is relief. WSJ, "101 Ways to Live, Work and Goof Off More Ambitiously," 26 Oct. 2018 In a worst-case scenario, attackers would be able to use exploits to gain complete control over vulnerable servers. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Trivial authentication bypass in libssh leaves servers wide open," 17 Oct. 2018 In the best case scenario, patients are willing to try to start over with me. SELF, "I'm a Registered Dietitian and Here’s What I Want People to Know About 'Food Sensitivity' Testing Kits," 12 Oct. 2018 Even in a worst-case scenario, Curiosity has a backup computer that can be used to diagnose the problem or even run the rover. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "NASA's Curiosity Rover Is Suffering From a Computer Glitch," 20 Sep. 2018 In a worst-case scenario, uncomfortable searches can be handy for anyone looking to blackmail you. Kim Komando, Fox News, "Streaming football, delete searches and more: Tech Q&A," 16 Sep. 2018 Senate Republicans have a hard deadline of the Nov. 6 congressional elections, which could, in the worst-case scenario for Republicans, put Democrats in control of the Senate. Amber Phillips, Washington Post, "Winners and losers from Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination," 10 July 2018 In a worst-case scenario, an overheated phone’s battery can start to leak or catch fire, putting you at serious risk. Billy Perrigo, Time, "6 Easy Ways to Keep Your Phone Safe in the Summer Heat," 22 June 2018 In a best-case scenario, Walters envisioned Walker in the Dwyane Wade mold, utilizing his athletic tools to emerge as a high-level scorer. Ben Golliver,, "From Dolphin Ethics to Moon Landings, Lonnie Walker IV Unloads Scorching Takes," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scenario.' 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 scenario

1768, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for scenario

Italian, from Latin scaenarium place for erecting stages, from scaena stage

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Statistics for scenario

Last Updated

27 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scenario

The first known use of scenario was in 1768

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English Language Learners Definition of scenario

: a description of what could possibly happen

: a written description of a play, movie, opera, etc.

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