sce·​nar·​io | \ sə-ˈner-ē-ˌō How to pronounce scenario (audio) , 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

Synonyms for scenario


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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.
Recent Examples on the Web The teacher and others imagined the same scenario: that some other student had seen the essay, or heard details from it, and then written the attack. Peter Hessler, The New Yorker, 9 May 2022 The team announced that Robinson would undergo surgery Monday after an MRI confirmed the worst-case scenario. Paul Newberry, ajc, 9 May 2022 Unless somehow the ballots from 100 voters resulted in a two-way or three-way tie – an unlikely scenario – only one player can win the award. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, 9 May 2022 With temperatures in parts of eastern Antarctica rising to concerning record levels this year, the WWF highlighted that even the best-case scenario means the penguins' population is likely to decrease by 31% by the end of the century. Julia Musto, Fox News, 7 May 2022 But the award has already been made and Tommy shared a picture of it with Vic just in case this very scenario happened. Ben Thomas |, al, 7 May 2022 But in the best scenario the rain begins to extinguish some of the fires. Chris Perkins, Sun Sentinel, 7 May 2022 This is one of the most stable business segments, because it is based on the win-win scenario. Stephan Rabimov, Forbes, 7 May 2022 Summers uncovers evidence of how the official scenario of the discovery of Monroe’s death — her housekeeper, thinking something was wrong, summoning Ralph Greenson, who found her body and phoned the police at around 3:00 a.m. — was a lie. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 6 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for scenario

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The first known use of scenario was in 1768

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Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scenario.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on scenario

Nglish: Translation of scenario for Spanish Speakers

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


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