screen·play | \ˈskrēn-ˌplā \

Definition of screenplay 

: the script and often shooting directions of a story prepared for motion-picture production

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Synonyms for screenplay


scenario, script

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Examples of screenplay in a Sentence

an award for best screenplay each actor will be given a copy of the screenplay to study

Recent Examples on the Web

Also returning from the series is its creator, Oscar winner Julian Fellowes, who wrote the film’s screenplay and will produce alongside Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Downton Abbey' Movie With Series Cast Officially a Go," 13 July 2018 Series creator Julian Fellowes, who wrote the series alone, will also handle the movie's screenplay. Matthew Wilson, USA TODAY, "Crawley family reunion time! The 'Downton Abbey' movie is happening," 13 July 2018 Unhappy with the screenplay’s neat ending, Ms. Granik instead decided to make a documentary shot in New York about five former prisoners. Caryn James, WSJ, "A Return to the Spotlight for ‘Winter’s Bone’ Director," 20 June 2018 The screenplay for the movie also had to evolve along with the culture. Pam Grady, San Francisco Chronicle, "Neflix’s latest ‘Alex Strangelove’ delves into sexual confusion among teens," 5 June 2018 Diggs and Casal kept refining the screenplay for many years until, in 2017, production took place over 22 days in their hometown, led by first-time director Carlos Lopez Estrada. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "'Hamilton' star's 'Blindspotting' reinvents buddy films in thrilling ride," 1 June 2018 Series creator Julian Fellowes wrote the screenplay and will produce. Fox News, "'Downton Abbey' movie to film this summer," 13 July 2018 The script got the attention of Hollywood with a spot on the coveted Black List in 2015, a survey of the industry’s best unproduced screenplays. Washington Post, "Once sidelined, romantic comedies rise again this summer," 14 June 2018 To date, Shyamalan’s films have earned the director six Academy Award nominations, including nods for best director and best original screenplay thanks to The Sixth Sense in 1999. Nick Vadala,, "M. Night Shyamalan to speak at Drexel University's 2018 commencement," 9 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'screenplay.' 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 screenplay

1920, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for screenplay

Last Updated

2 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for screenplay

The first known use of screenplay was in 1920

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English Language Learners Definition of screenplay

: the written form of a movie that also includes instructions on how it is to be acted and filmed : the script for a movie

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