[si-nair-ee-oh, -nahr-]

noun, plural sce·nar·i·os.

an outline of the plot of a dramatic work, giving particulars as to the scenes, characters, situations, etc.
the outline or the manuscript of a motion picture or television program, giving the action in the order in which it takes place, the description of scenes and characters, etc.
an imagined or projected sequence of events, especially any of several detailed plans or possibilities: One scenario calls for doubling profits by increasing our advertising, the other by reducing costs.

Origin of scenario

1875–80; < Italian < Latin scēnārium. See scene, -ary

Synonyms for scenario Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for scenario

plot, scheme, rundown, sketch, outline, summary, synopsis, book

Examples from the Web for scenario

Contemporary Examples of scenario

Historical Examples of scenario

  • Tell me, now: Do you think you could assist me upon occasion in the preparation of a scenario?


    Rafael Sabatini

  • And on the way up towards the park I gets the scenario of the acts I'd missed.

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

  • "I'll have to think up some sort of a scenario to go with it," the manager said.

  • I think we can make use of it, though it wasn't in the scenario.

  • I have only written in order that I may get the scenario—which had begun to haunt me—off my chest.

    Once a Week

    Alan Alexander Milne

British Dictionary definitions for scenario


noun plural -narios

a summary of the plot of a play, etc, including information about its characters, scenes, etc
a predicted sequence of eventslet's try another scenario, involving the demise of democracy
Derived Formsscenarist (ˈsiːnərɪst, sɪˈnɑː-), noun

Word Origin for scenario

C19: via Italian from Latin scēnārium, from scēna; see scene
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for scenario

1868, "sketch of the plot of a play," from Italian scenario, from Late Latin scenarius "of stage scenes," from Latin scena "scene" (see scene). Meaning "imagined situation" is first recorded 1960, in reference to hypothetical nuclear wars.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper