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

New Zealand is the best place to be in the WCS: worst case scenario. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "We Should All Just Move to New Zealand," 17 Jan. 2019 Fortunately, even in a worst-case scenario, Hubble is likely to continue providing valuable science. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The Hubble Is Malfunctioning, Again," 10 Jan. 2019 That's precisely the scenario one man found himself in after obtaining a unit auctioned off by A&E's Storage Wars star Dan Dotson. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "'Storage Wars' Star Dan Dotson Sold a $500 Unit With $7.5 Million Accidentally Hidden Inside," 26 Nov. 2018 In a more optimistic scenario, the bank said stocks could add about 10% and close at 2750 if earnings grow modestly. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "The Battered Bull Market Is Limping Into 2019," 2 Jan. 2019 Within the three average scenarios, 80 percent of all hatchlings are female. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Global Warming Could Make These Sea Turtles 98% Female," 27 Dec. 2018 While Israeli law is unclear on such a scenario, several party chiefs have vowed not to serve in a coalition led by someone facing criminal charges. Aron Heller, The Seattle Times, "Under duress, Israel’s Netanyahu still election front-runner," 25 Dec. 2018 The film was highly influential with European filmmakers at the time, in large part because director Rene Manzor turned the holy day of Christmas into a violent nightmare scenario, violating a cultural taboo. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Dial Code: Santa Claus is our new favorite holiday cult classic," 24 Dec. 2018 In a perfect-world scenario, testing would start during high school at their annuals, along with PAP smear. Kim Brooks, Harper's BAZAAR, "The New Frontier of Fertility Tests—for Young Women," 1 Nov. 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

23 Jan 2019

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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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Comments on scenario

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


a complex dispute or argument

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