\ ˈsēn How to pronounce scene (audio) \

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 He has stolen her salad, but she's too well-mannered to make a scene [=act in a disruptive way].— Vincent Canby
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 Investigators arrived at the scene to find Thiessen’s body, witnesses trying to render aid, and Navarro standing nearby waiting for deputies, authorities said. Fox News, "Wisconsin man 'targeting a White person' killed motorcyclist, prosecutors say," 10 July 2020 Steven Brock said that his hand was grazed by a bullet, but refused medical treatment at the scene, the release states. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, "Sheriff: Independence man charged with attempted murder after his stepfather died in a shootout," 9 July 2020 Detectives do not believe the victim died at the scene, but are unsure how long the head was at that location. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "Florida woman finds decaying human head on side of road during morning jog," 9 July 2020 The 8-year-old boy sustained serious injuries and was taken to the hospital, prosecutors said, while the 13-year-old girl, died at the scene. Eric Todisco,, "13-Year-Old Killed When Carjacker Jumps in Vehicle While Parents Got Take-Out at Calif. Restaurant," 9 July 2020 Federal agents tackled a person in Terry Schrunk Plaza during protests on Wednesday evening, according to reporters who were at the scene. oregonlive, "Federal police tackle, arrest person at Terry Schrunk Plaza during protests," 9 July 2020 But instead of impounding her, the officer gave the Chihuahua to a man at the scene who called himself a friend of Muhaymin's, according to a police report. Scott Bronstein, CNN, "Bodycam footage from Phoenix arrest reveals new details about Black man's death in custody," 9 July 2020 Inquiries were directed to BPD, but members of the department did not answer questions at the scene. Ernest Rollins And Emily Ernsberger, The Indianapolis Star, "Driver strikes pedestrian after Bloomington rally, march over alleged racist assault," 8 July 2020 After the mural was completed, Nelson and Anderson allegedly arrived at the scene with paint supplies. CBS News, "2 face hate crime charge after allegedly vandalizing Black Lives Matter mural in California," 8 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for scene

Time Traveler

The first known use of scene was circa 1520

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Statistics for scene

Last Updated

12 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Scene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for scene


How to pronounce scene (audio)

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 How to pronounce scene (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on scene

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scene

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scene

Spanish Central: Translation of scene

Nglish: Translation of scene for Spanish Speakers

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

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