\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

The 15-year-old suspect was taken into custody on the scene by responding officers. Rosemary Sobol,, "1 dead, 1 wounded in Waukegan shooting; 15-year-old boy charged," 14 July 2018 Far too dangerous to enter, the commander on the scene decided. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "In a tragic loop, firefighters continue to die from preventable mistakes," 13 July 2018 Later in the footage, Ulis can be seen throwing punches at his attackers before Booker, wearing a bandanna over his face, and two other men arrive on the scene. azcentral, "Video: Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis involved in elevator fight in 2017," 13 July 2018 The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was on scene investigating, along with alligator trappers, Gipson said. Dan Wine,, "Man suffers 'possible gator bite' at Barnett Park in Orange County, authorities say," 13 July 2018 The driver of the Acura remained on the scene, but the driver of the first vehicle drove away, police said. Nicholas Bogel-burroughs,, "Baltimore County police searching for sedan in fatal hit-and-run," 13 July 2018 Karen Christiansen, 67, and Jena Christensen, 32 were pronounced dead on the scene on Monday, according to officials. Jessica Spitz /, NBC News, "Mother and daughter killed after boulder falls off back of truck in Minnesota," 13 July 2018 Responding fire crews encountered fire at a front corner of the structure, Everett Fire Chief Tony Carli said on the scene. Emily Sweeney And Danny Mcdonald,, "Two firefighters, one civilian injured in Everett blaze," 13 July 2018 The bad boy of cooking first came on the scene with a huge splash thanks to his best-selling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000). Ryan Parker, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmys: Anthony Bourdain Posthumously Nominated for 'Parts Unknown'," 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

19 Oct 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).


to reject or criticize sharply

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