\ ˈsēn \

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 make a scene

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

Officers who arrived at the scene found a child who had been shot in the head who was taken to Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville, where she was pronounced dead. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "6-year-old girl killed in accidental shooting Friday night, police say," 14 July 2018 During a press conference, park police chief Jason Ohotto said the actions of the police officers at the scene were a result of the information given in the 911 call that indicated danger, according to KARE, an NBC affiliate. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "Viral Video Shows Black Boys Detained at a Park in Minnesota After 911 Caller Claimed They Had Weapons," 13 July 2018 Firefighters and paramedics treated an elderly woman at the scene. Alex Riggins,, "Fire tears through Lakeside mobile home," 13 July 2018 Carter was a member of the Fairlea Volunteer Fire Department, units of which arrived at the scene of a supermarket fire about 10:40 that morning. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "In a tragic loop, firefighters continue to die from preventable mistakes," 13 July 2018 The grandmother and uncle were treated at the scene, police said. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "Woman accused of hitting toddler with car pleads not guilty in Lake County court," 13 July 2018 The officers showered and were given a change of clothing at the scene. Wayne K. Roustan,, "Two arrested, pot plants seized, officers recovering after two raids," 13 July 2018 The Fernandina Beach Fire Department arrived at the scene three minutes after getting reports about the alleged shark attack. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Florida beaches closed after shark attacks leave 2 injured: report," 13 July 2018 He was initially diagnosed with a sprain upon X-rays taken at the scene. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Metu’s misfortune means missed opportunity for Spurs’ second-rounder," 12 July 2018

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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Statistics for scene

Last Updated

24 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scene

The first known use of scene was circa 1520

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More Definitions for scene



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 \

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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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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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