\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

Or, stay in the snowy city and spend your time exploring the food and drink scene (Denver Central Market is worth a visit), or browsing the growing arts district. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "These Are the 5 Best Cities to Visit in January, Based on Flight Prices," 11 Dec. 2018 Instead, noting these items as trends means that the foods will be increasingly available and marketed within the mainstream U.S. health and wellness scene. 1. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "12 Health Food Trends to Be on the Lookout for in 2019," 11 Dec. 2018 One of the funniest scenes of season two involved a flirtatious moment between Mike and Nancy's mom and bad boy Billy. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "'Stranger Things' Season 3: Everything We Know So Far," 10 Dec. 2018 Remarque has a remarkable aptitude for sketching scenes of barracks life and extracurricular escapades. Tobias Grey, WSJ, "An Antiwar Classic That Knew No Borders," 7 Dec. 2018 The sets — depicting New York City scenes ranging from Warbucks’ Fifth Avenue mansion to St. Mark’s Place to the Rockefeller Center — are sumptuously detailed in vintage glory. Elisa Murray, The Seattle Times, "Leapin’ lizards! We leaped through 3 family holiday shows, from ‘Annie’ to ‘Matilda’ to ‘Wonderland’," 5 Dec. 2018 In any case, these remnant references offer an enticing hint behind the scenes into Sony's decision-making process and a glimpse of what could have been for the flawed retro plug-and-play box. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Dozens of hidden game names found in PlayStation Classic source files," 5 Dec. 2018 Kim shared a photo on her Instagram story with no caption, covering up the nip slip with a hilarious GIF of Cher from the finale scene of Mama Mia 2. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian Laughed Off Her Red Carpet Nip Slip in the Funniest Way," 5 Dec. 2018 There are even cinematograph capabilities, where part of the scene can be in motion. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Meet Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855: AI boosts, a smarter camera, mobile gaming—and bye-bye, JPEG," 5 Dec. 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

14 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on scene

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scene

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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).


a nest or breeding place

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