\ 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 Police and rescue crews were on the scene and authorities told people to avoid the city center. Fox News, "Car in Germany plows into pedestrians, kills at least 2," 2 Dec. 2020 All of the suspects admitted to visiting the victim’s home, fleeing the scene, and being in the van when Stansell intentionally ran Penton over, according to the report. Garfield Hylton,, "Central Florida mother run over by teens who beat up her son dies, officials say," 1 Dec. 2020 Garmany had just returned to his patrol unit and was waiting inside it for the ambulance to leave the scene when a white Chevrolet truck struck the driver’s side of the deputy’s patrol car. William Thornton |, al, "Boaz man faces charges after reportedly striking deputy’s vehicle," 1 Dec. 2020 Boylan is a veteran in the Central Coast’s maritime scene, with a long history at Truth Aquatics and experience navigating the Channel Islands, former crew members said. Matt Hamilton, Los Angeles Times, "Captain in Conception dive boat fire indicted on 34 counts of manslaughter," 1 Dec. 2020 Turnpike South was backed up about five miles to Griffin Road until about 10 a.m. when the crash scene was cleared. Wayne K. Roustan,, "Man dies, teen survives rush-hour crash on Florida’s Turnpike," 1 Dec. 2020 The scene in Tevis’s novel in which Beth goes to her first chess championship, having no idea how to conduct herself or what is expected of her, is re-created almost line for line in the series. Sarah Miller, The New Yorker, "The Fatal Flaw of “The Queen’s Gambit”," 1 Dec. 2020 Tawny drove down Tudor Road herself, to see the scene. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "A perilous Anchorage intersection — and a season of pedestrian deaths," 1 Dec. 2020 After ineffectual attempts to offer aid, Adam flees the scene, leaving the other boy to die on the pavement. oregonlive, "‘Your Honor’: Bryan Cranston is a judge trying to cover up a crime in an uneven new drama (review)," 1 Dec. 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

3 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Scene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 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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Comments on scene

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