See more synonyms for scene on
  1. the place where some action or event occurs: He returned to the scene of the murder.
  2. any view or picture.
  3. an incident or situation in real life.
  4. an embarrassing outbreak or display of anger, strong feeling, or bad manners: Please don't make a scene in such a public place.
  5. a division of a play or of an act of a play, usually representing what passes between certain of the actors in one place.
  6. a unit of action or a segment of a story in a play, motion picture, or television show.
  7. the place in which the action of a play or part of a play is supposed to occur.
  8. scenery(def 2).
  9. Literature.
    1. an episode, situation, or the like, as in a narrative.
    2. the setting or locale of a story.
  10. the stage, especially of an ancient Greek or Roman theater.
  11. an area or sphere of activity, current interest, etc.: the rock music scene; the fashion scene.
  1. behind the scenes, in secret or in private.
  2. make the scene, Slang. to appear in a particular place or engage in a particular activity: Let's make the scene downtown tonight. She was never one to make the drug scene.

Origin of scene

1530–40; < Latin scēna background (of the stage) < Greek skēnḗ booth (where actors dressed)
Related formsin·ter·scene, noun
Can be confusedscene seen

Synonyms for scene

See more synonyms for on
1. arena, stage, location; center, focus. 2. See view. 3. episode. 4. demonstration, spectacle, show. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for scene

Contemporary Examples of scene

Historical Examples of scene

British Dictionary definitions for scene


  1. the place where an action or event, real or imaginary, occurs
  2. the setting for the action of a play, novel, etc
  3. an incident or situation, real or imaginary, esp as described or represented
    1. a subdivision of an act of a play, in which the time is continuous and the setting fixed
    2. a single event, esp a significant one, in a play
  4. films a shot or series of shots that constitutes a unit of the action
  5. the backcloths, stage setting, etc, for a play or film set; scenery
  6. the prospect of a place, landscape, etc
  7. a display of emotion, esp an embarrassing one to the onlookers
  8. informal the environment for a specific activitythe fashion scene
  9. informal interest or chosen occupationclassical music is not my scene
  10. rare the stage, esp of a theatre in ancient Greece or Rome
  11. behind the scenes out of public view; privately

Word Origin for scene

C16: from Latin scēna theatrical stage, from Greek skēnē tent, stage
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 scene

1530s, "subdivision of an act of a play," also "stage-setting," from Middle French scène (14c.), from Latin scaena, scena "scene, stage of a theater," from Greek skene "wooden stage for actors," also "that which is represented on stage," originally "tent or booth," related to skia "shadow, shade," via notion of "something that gives shade," from PIE root *skai- "to shine, flicker, glimmer" (see shine (v.)).

Meaning "material apparatus of a theatrical stage" is from 1540s. Meaning "place in which the action of a literary work occurs" is attested from 1590s; general (non-literary) sense of "place where anything is done or takes place" is recorded from 1590s. Hence U.S. slang sense of "setting or milieu for a specific group or activity," attested from 1951 in Beat jargon. Meaning "stormy encounter between two or more persons" is attested from 1761. Behind the scenes "having knowledge of affairs not apparent to the public" (1660s) is an image from the theater, "amid actors and stage machinery" (out of sight of the audience). Scene of the crime (1923) first attested in Agatha Christie.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with scene


see behind the scenes; make a scene; make the scene; on the scene; set the scene for.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.