screen·​play ˈskrēn-ˌplā How to pronounce screenplay (audio)
: the script and often shooting directions of a story prepared for motion-picture production

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 That said, the directors tried to divide the six-episode screenplay into three acts, just like a film. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 18 Feb. 2024 Barbie notched five nominations overall, including best actor in a supporting role for Ryan Gosling and best original screenplay for Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach. Brendan Le, Peoplemag, 18 Feb. 2024 Director Anthony Philipson weaves dramatic scenes of Einstein (capably played by a twinkle-eyed Aidan McArdle) with documentary footage; the screenplay uses only words spoken or written by Einstein himself. Chris Vognar, Rolling Stone, 17 Feb. 2024 But one of the most notable uncredited contributions to a screenplay is that of a performer. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 15 Feb. 2024 The acting, the haircuts, the score, the wardrobe, the screenplay—all of those elements came together to masterfully depict and humanize a facet of society that is still profoundly misunderstood. Lisa Wong MacAbasco, Vogue, 10 Feb. 2024 Several voters expressed dismay that the academy moved it from original screenplay, where it had been submitted. Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times, 6 Feb. 2024 Directed by Tanith Glynn-Maloney, from a screenplay by Boyd Quakawoot, the film is branded as a Stan Original and will play on the Australia-only streamer from March 28. Patrick Frater, Variety, 5 Feb. 2024 In addition to Best Picture, Past Lives is also nominated for its screenplay written by Celine Song, who directed the romantic drama. Reece Rogers, WIRED, 5 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'screenplay.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1920, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of screenplay was in 1920

Dictionary Entries Near screenplay

Cite this Entry

“Screenplay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


screen·​play ˈskrēn-ˌplā How to pronounce screenplay (audio)
: the written form of a story prepared for film production

More from Merriam-Webster on screenplay

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