scene

noun

1
: one of the subdivisions of a play: such as
a
: a division of an act presenting continuous action in one place
b
: a single situation or unit of dialogue in a play
the love scene
c
: a motion-picture or television episode or sequence
2
a
: a stage setting
b
: a real or imaginary prospect suggesting a stage setting
a sylvan scene
3
: the place of an occurrence or action : locale
scene of the crime
4
: an exhibition of anger or indecorous behavior
He has stolen her salad, but she's too well-mannered to make a scene [=act in a disruptive way].Vincent Canby
5
a
: sphere of activity
the drug scene
b
: situation
a bad scene
Phrases
behind the scenes
1
: out of public view
also : in secret
2
: in a position to see the hidden workings
taken behind the scenes and told just how in fact the actual government … has operatedWilliam Clark

Example Sentences

The play's opening scene takes place in the courtyard. The actor was nervous about his big scene. Police are now at the scene.
Recent Examples on the Web Officers responding to the call at 5:40 a.m. administered first aid and summoned San Francisco Fire Department medics to the scene. Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Jan. 2023 First responders were called to the scene shortly after 11:30 a.m., according to a report by ABC13. Renee Yan, Chron, 22 Jan. 2023 If only returning to the scene of the crime rendered a different result. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, 22 Jan. 2023 By the time police responded to the scene, the suspect had already fled. Megan Sims, cleveland, 22 Jan. 2023 The Hartford Police Major Crimes and Crime Scene Divisions responded to the scene and are investigating. Mike Mavredakis, Hartford Courant, 20 Jan. 2023 About a month earlier, homicide detectives rushed to the scene of a stabbing in the 1400 block of Monument Street. Alex Mann, Baltimore Sun, 20 Jan. 2023 The prosecutor said video and cellphone evidence tied Forehand to the scene, but declined to elaborate because that was not discussed in further detail at the arraignment. San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Jan. 2023 Deputies who responded to the scene found that the patient was the same man from the earlier incident at Taco Bell. Wyatte Grantham-philips, USA TODAY, 20 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scene.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Middle French, stage, from Latin scena, scaena stage, scene, probably from Etruscan, from Greek skēnē shelter, tent, building forming the background for a dramatic performance, stage; perhaps akin to Greek skia shadow — more at shine

First Known Use

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of scene was circa 1520

Dictionary Entries Near scene

Cite this Entry

“Scene.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scene. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

scene

noun
1
a
: a division of an act during which there is no change of scene or break in time
b
: a single situation or conversation in a play
the love scene
c
: a small part of a motion picture or a television program
2
a
: a stage setting
change scenes
b
: a view or sight that looks like a picture
a winter scene
3
: the place of an event or action : locale
the scene of the crime
4
: a display of anger or misconduct
made a scene when accused of the crime
5
a
: area of activity
the music scene
b
: situation sense 3
the scene got serious when the police arrived

Medical Definition

scene

More from Merriam-Webster on scene

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY