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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Again, the fantastic elements augment a very real scenario, one that plays out every day across Latin America., "Mining the magical and marvelous in ‘The Rock Eaters’," 6 May 2021 The paper also sketched out a worst-case scenario, in which cases could rise to 900,000 per week, hospitalizations to 50,000, and deaths to 10,000. Mike Stobbe, Chron, "COVID's US toll projected to drop sharply by the end of July," 5 May 2021 The more common scenario, as StartEngine alludes, is to wait several years before any ROI manifests. Krishan Arora, Forbes, "The Secondary Marketplace: A New Chapter For Equity Crowdfunding," 4 May 2021 Meanwhile, the worst-case scenario — a repeat of the winter surge — is unfolding in Michigan. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: April 22-28, 2021," 2 May 2021 That scenario — urban forestland on developable private property — means oftentimes the city agency with final say over whether the forests will be protected is the same one that oversees and approves plans to build on top of them. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis has few urban forests left — but many are privately owned and at risk," 30 Apr. 2021 Interesting scenario for the Nets: Bucks or Knicks in second round if all advance. Omari Sankofa Ii, USA TODAY, "NBA Roundtable: Tom Thibodeau has the Knicks on the rebound. But how long can it last?," 28 Apr. 2021 In a different scenario, where silent infections remained undetected, researchers estimated that children would need an 81% vaccination rate, in addition to 40% of adults being vaccinated, in order to achieve a similar infection rate. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "There may be more vaccines than people who want them by mid-May. Here's why that's a big problem.," 24 Apr. 2021 Such an agreement would set up a once-improbable scenario: Democrats and DeJoy in alliance on postal strategy, one that would play well with environmental activists, commercial mailers and package shippers. Washington Post, "Push to electrify mail trucks gains wide support, an unlikely win for both DeJoy and Biden," 23 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for scenario

Time Traveler

The first known use of scenario was in 1768

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Statistics for scenario

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scenario.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for scenario



English Language Learners Definition of scenario

: a description of what could possibly happen
formal : a written description of a play, movie, opera, etc.

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