\ ˈsēn How to pronounce scene (audio) \

Definition of scene

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
2a : 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
5a : sphere of activity the drug scene
b : situation a bad scene
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 operated— William Clark

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Examples of scene in a Sentence

The play's opening scene takes place in the courtyard. The actor was nervous about his big scene. Police are now at the scene.
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Recent Examples on the Web The two passengers who had left the car were interviewed by police and told officers the car already had crashed into another car on Wolcott Street and evaded that scene even before the police chase began, Lund said. Zach Murdock,, 21 Sep. 2021 Union Theater Writer James Meade includes plot spoilers in this account of filming the movie’s final scene. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Sep. 2021 One scene in the middle of the episode drove the point home. Scooby Axson, USA TODAY, 21 Sep. 2021 Crime scene investigators used a chemical called Bluestar, designed to reveal bloodstains that have been washed out or wiped off. Jacob Beltran, San Antonio Express-News, 21 Sep. 2021 In the sketch, Barrymore also hilariously performed her version of Meg Ryan's famous fake orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally alongside her show's crew members. Vanessa Etienne,, 21 Sep. 2021 On the national scene, Pilla would guide the U.S. bishops’ conference from 1995 to 1998, winning praise for a leadership style that listening over arm twisting. David Briggs, cleveland, 21 Sep. 2021 Detectives are expected to be at the crash scene for the next several hours. Caroleina Hassett, The Arizona Republic, 21 Sep. 2021 Two females were seen leaving the scene in a late model Infiniti SUV. Daniel I. Dorfman,, 21 Sep. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of scene

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scene

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

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Time Traveler for scene

Time Traveler

The first known use of scene was circa 1520

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Dictionary Entries Near scene



scène à faire

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Statistics for scene

Last Updated

23 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for scene



English Language Learners Definition of scene

: a division of an act in a play during which the action takes place in a single place without a break in time
: a part of a play, movie, story, etc., in which a particular action or activity occurs
: a view or sight that looks like a picture


\ ˈsēn How to pronounce scene (audio) \

Kids Definition of scene

1 : a division of an act in a play
2 : a single interesting or important happening in a play or story a fight scene
3 : the place of an event or action the scene of a crime
4 : a view or sight that resembles a picture a winter scene
5 : a display of anger or bad behavior


Medical Definition of scene

— see primal scene

More from Merriam-Webster on scene

Nglish: Translation of scene for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scene for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about scene


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