stage direction


: a description (as of a character or setting) or direction (as to indicate stage business) provided in the text of a play

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Martin Riker’s The Guest Lecture begins with a paragraph of stage direction, establishing the scene that will make up the entirety of the novel. Meghan O’gieblyn, The New York Review of Books, 2 Mar. 2023 Hopefully whoever plays Hedda also does the bear who causes that famous exeunt, chased by stage direction. Vulture, 31 Aug. 2022 Galella studied acting and stage direction in California and worked as a photographer in the air force during the Korean War. Sasha Urban, Variety, 2 May 2022 Jess McLeod’s vivid and snappy stage direction make the two-act play’s humor and quirky characters pop, along with fun, cartoonlike stage projections designed by Blake McCarty. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Mar. 2022 Callie Prendiville’s stage direction transcended the usual limitations of plays on film. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Dec. 2021 Hammerstein then proceeded to go through every stage direction, every song, every scene, every line of dialogue. Washington Post, 26 Nov. 2021 Then the screenplay then cuts off in the middle of the action, with the final stage direction left hanging. Nicholas Quah, Vulture, 3 Aug. 2021 The play, with film direction by Amber McGinnis and stage direction by Emilyn Kowaleski, was shot at Woolly. Washington Post, 17 May 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stage direction.' 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

1790, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of stage direction was in 1790

Dictionary Entries Near stage direction

Cite this Entry

“Stage direction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

stage direction

: a playwright's instruction to a director and actors
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