\ 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

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 driver remained on scene and was cooperative with investigators, Evans said. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, 12 Jan. 2022 Soon after, deputies from the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 12 Jan. 2022 Police say medics with the Philadelphia Fire Department pronounced the victim dead on the scene. Vanessa Etienne,, 11 Jan. 2022 Authorities contacted a trapper, who arrived on the scene and help catch the animal. Michael Hollan, Fox News, 11 Jan. 2022 The child was declared dead on the scene, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Monivette Cordeiro,, 11 Jan. 2022 In 10 of the cases, the driver remained on scene after the collision and was released without a charge or citation. Jay R. Jordan, Chron, 11 Jan. 2022 Dispatchers said the call came in around 8:16 p.m. and crews are currently on scene at the Interplastic Corporation on 3535 Latonia Ave. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 11 Jan. 2022 The two newest tests on the scene, from Roche and Siemens Healthineers, could give an extra boost if the companies are awarded contracts from the government. Cheyenne Haslett, ABC News, 10 Jan. 2022

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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Dictionary Entries Near scene



scène à faire

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Statistics for scene

Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on scene

Nglish: Translation of scene for Spanish Speakers

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


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