View synonyms for scene


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  1. the place where some action or event occurs:

    He returned to the scene of the accident.

    Synonyms: focus, center, location, stage, arena

  2. any view or picture:

    The scene that lay before me, with its snow and colorful leaves, was beautiful.

  3. an incident or situation in real life:

    She witnessed the scene at the restaurant as it happened.

    Synonyms: episode

  4. an embarrassing outbreak or display of anger, strong feeling, or bad manners:

    Please don't make a scene in such a public place.

    Synonyms: show, spectacle, demonstration

  5. a division of a play or of an act of a play, usually representing a passage of time in a single setting, featuring a specific character or group of characters:

    Scene Four takes place in a city park at dawn.

  6. a unit of action or a segment of a story in a play, motion picture, or television show:

    The DVD contains many short scenes showing classic plane models at U.S. and European airports.

  7. the place in which the action of a play or part of a play is supposed to occur.
  8. Literature.
    1. an episode, situation, or the like, as in a narrative.
    2. the setting or locale of a story.
  9. the stage, especially of an ancient Greek or Roman theater.
  10. an area or sphere of activity, current interest, etc.:

    the rock music scene;

    the fashion scene.


/ siːn /


  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 activity

    the fashion scene

  9. informal.
    interest or chosen occupation

    classical 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
“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

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Other Words From

  • in·ter·scene noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of scene1

First recorded in 1530–40; from Latin scēna “background” (of the stage), from Greek skēnḗ “booth” (where actors dressed)
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Word History and Origins

Origin of scene1

C16: from Latin scēna theatrical stage, from Greek skēnē tent, stage
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. 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.

  2. behind the scenes. behind the scenes.

More idioms and phrases containing scene

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

See view.
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Example Sentences

We don’t want to come on set and crowd an actress who’s just had a really difficult scene.

From Fortune

The 19-year-old from Los Angeles posts comedy videos, skits, and re-enacts scenes from Netflix shows.

From Fortune

These 39 people — some of whom you’ll recognize, while others operate behind the scenes — will shape what could be a rocky time from November 3 to January 20.

From Ozy

I’ve had moments where I’m literally on set, waiting to do a scene, my lines are ready, I’m geeked up, ready to go.

From Ozy

Behind the scenes, people were talking about Potts’ trip to the hospital.

Hovering above the scene, commandos in helicopters were poised with automatic rifles.

But since those rosy scenarios were first floated, the California political scene has grown more crowded.

The scene was heavily cordoned off to traffic and anyone not with the police, press, or residents.

The following page details a tribute gag the Simpsons team inserted into the background of a scene.

“The play contains one five minute scene about James Hewitt,” Conway says.

Then Paterno adroitly brought matters to a crisis in a bold peroration which changed the whole scene.

The scene is the covenant made between the two first persons of the Trinity on Mount Moriah.

Impressed by the lugubrious scene, Aguinaldo yielded, and the next day peace negotiations were opened.

The scene and field of that learning hitherto has been, in our Western communities, the University.

It was not until later days that Malcolm knew the real nature of the scene through which he rode.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




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