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 Fincher’s film chronicles the weeks in 1940 that Mank, as he was called, spent crafting that screenplay while revisiting his friendship with Davies, among others, in flashbacks almost a decade prior. Los Angeles Times, "Amanda Seyfried embraces the silences in David Fincher’s ‘Mank’," 4 Jan. 2021 Both performances are appealing, but Mr. Ashe’s screenplay is not well served by the laggard pace and low energy of his direction. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Sylvie’s Love’ Review: Lush Movie Life Reimagined," 23 Dec. 2020 John Patrick Shanley’s screenplay is instantly quotable and full of symbolism. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "What movies do you watch over and over? Our list of favorites to enjoy with family this holiday season," 19 Dec. 2020 Bullet Train, whose screenplay is reportedly adapted from Kōtarō Isaka's book Maria Beetle, follows five assassins aboard the same train who soon realize that their separate missions are all connected. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bad Bunny Is Going to Be in a Brad Pitt Movie," 17 Dec. 2020 The screenplay is credited to Fincher’s father, Jack, and favors Kael’s telling of events. Washington Post, "Who actually wrote ‘Citizen Kane’? David Fincher’s ‘Mank’ revives the debate.," 5 Dec. 2020 The screenplay for the biopic of Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz was written by the director's late father, Jack Fincher. Christian Holub,, "Every David Fincher movie, ranked by EW grade," 3 Dec. 2020 Cutely titled after Herman Mankiewicz, co-writer of Citizen Kane’s screenplay, Mank does the Millennial thing: unwarranted idolatry. Armond White, National Review, "The Facile Fascism of David Fincher," 11 Dec. 2020 Bong Joon Ho's masterfully devious class satire also won best director, best international film and best screenplay. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Amid a turbulent 2020, here are historic firsts you may have missed," 10 Dec. 2020

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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The first known use of screenplay was in 1920

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Screenplay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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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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