screen·​play | \ ˈskrēn-ˌplā How to pronounce screenplay (audio) \

Definition of screenplay

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

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Synonyms for screenplay


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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 Bombshell is rendered in the style of Vice and The Big Short (its screenwriter, Charles Randolph, also wrote the screenplay for the latter). Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "The Most Powerful Scene in Bombshell," 23 Dec. 2019 But without prior drug-running experience, trouble and hilarity ensues. Peter Steinfeld will pen the screenplay for the adaptation. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, "Will Ferrell to Star in Adaptation of Doc 'The Legend Of Cocaine Island' for Netflix," 17 Dec. 2019 Last week, screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard — who co-wrote the screenplay for this year’s Tubman biopic Harriet — wrote a column in the Los Angeles Times. Helen Murphy,, "Viola Davis Calls the Idea of Julia Roberts Playing Harriet Tubman 'Ridiculous': I'm 'Concerned'," 27 Nov. 2019 Shia LaBeouf wrote the screenplay for this movie about an actor whose roots as a child star pushed too far by his dad, based on his own experiences — and then plays the father in the movie. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What's coming to the movies for the rest of 2019? Oscar contenders, Taylor Swift in 'Cats' and, yes, 'Star Wars'," 25 Nov. 2019 His aesthetic is a cross between Victorian Gothic and colonial explorer, as if Edgar Allan Poe wrote the screenplay for Indiana Jones. Oscar Schwartz, WIRED, "There’s a Thriving Market for Human Body Parts on Instagram," 21 Aug. 2019 Although Dahl wrote the screenplay for the 1971 film, the process was described as difficult on the author's website. Deborah Fleck, Dallas News, "Watch for 'whimsy and weird sweetness' in Dallas run of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'," 15 Aug. 2019 Director David Michôd and Joel Edgerton pulled from Henry IV: Part One, Henry IV: Part Two, and Henry V to write the screenplay for The King. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The King on Netflix Stars Timothée Chalamet as a Shakespearean Monarch," 31 July 2019 Riskin, 43, had written screenplays for many renowned films under the direction of Frank Capra starring Gary Cooper, James Stewart and Lionel Barrymore. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "Fay Wray, Robert Riskin memoir penned by daughter is One City, One Book pick," 24 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for screenplay

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The first known use of screenplay was in 1920

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Statistics for screenplay

Last Updated

9 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Screenplay.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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How to pronounce screenplay (audio)

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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Comments on screenplay

What made you want to look up screenplay? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to insert between existing elements

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