American English

Definition of scene noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable, usually singular] scene (of something) the place where something happens, especially something unpleasant the scene of the accident/attack/crime Firefighters were on the scene immediately. Washington was the scene of many demonstrations at that time. synonyms at place
  2. event
  3. 2[countable] scene (of something) an event or a situation that you see, especially one of a particular type The candidate's victory produced scenes of joy all over the country. She witnessed some very distressing scenes.
  4. in movie/play, etc.
  5. 3[countable] a part of a movie, play, or book in which the action happens in one place or is of one particular type The movie opens with a scene in a New York apartment. I got very nervous before my big scene (= the one where I have a very important part).
  6. 4[countable] one of the small sections that a play or an opera is divided into Act I, Scene 2 of “Macbeth”
  7. area of activity
  8. 5the scene, the… scene [singular] (informal) a particular area of activity or way of life and the people who are part of it After years at the top, she just vanished from the scene. the club/dance/music, etc. scene A newcomer has appeared on the fashion scene. U.S. players were finding it increasingly difficult to compete on the international scene.
  9. view
  10. 6[countable] a view that you see a pleasant rural scene They went abroad for a change of scene (= to see and experience new surroundings). Thesaurusviewsight scene panoramaThese are all words for a thing that you can see, especially from a particular place.view what you can see from a particular place or position, especially beautiful natural scenery:The cottage had an amazing ocean view.sight a thing that you see or can see, especially something that is impressive or unusual:It's a spectacular sight as the flamingos lift into the air.scene a view that you see, especially one with people and/or animals moving about and doing things:It was a pleasant rural scene.panorama a view of a wide area of land:The mountain's peak offers a breathtaking panorama of Phoenix.Patterns a view/panorama of something a beautiful/breathtaking view/sight/scene/panorama a magnificent/spectacular view/sight/panorama to take in the view/sight/scene to admire the view/sight
  11. painting/photograph
  12. 7[countable] a painting, drawing, or photograph of a place and the things that are happening there an exhibition of Parisian street scenes
  13. argument
  14. 8[countable, usually singular] a loud, angry argument, especially one that happens in public and is embarrassing She had made a scene in the middle of the party. “Please leave,” he said. “I don't want a scene.”
  15. Thesaurusplacesite area position point location scene spot venueThese are all words for a particular area or part of an area, especially one used for a particular purpose or where something is situated or a particular point, area, city, town, building, etc., especially one used for a particular purpose or where a particular thing happens:This would be a good place for a the place where something, especially a building, is or will be situated; a place where something happened or that is used for a particular purpose:They've chosen a site for the new school.area a part of a room, building, or particular space that is used for a special purpose; a particular place on an object:the hotel reception area Move the cursor to a blank area on the screen.position the place where a person or thing is situated; the place where someone or something is meant to be:From his position at the top of the hill, he could see the harbor. The position of someone or something is often temporary: the place where the person or thing is at a particular time.point a particular place within an area, where something happens or is supposed to happen:the point at which the river divideslocation a place where something happens or exists, especially a place that is not named or not known:The company is moving to a new location.scene a place where something happens, especially something unpleasant:the scene of the accidentspot a particular point or area, especially one that has a particular character or where something particular happens:I proposed to your mother on this very spot 50 years ago.venue the place where people meet for an organized event such as a performance or a sports event:Please note the change of venue for this event.Patterns at a/the place/site/position/point/location/scene/spot/venue in a(n) place/area/position/location/venue the place/site/point/location/spot/venue where… the right place/site/position/location/spot/venue a central site/position/location/venue the/something's exact/precise place/site/position/point/location/spotIdioms
      behind the scenes
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    1. 1in the part of a theater, etc. that the public does not usually see The students were able to go behind the scenes to see how programs are made.
    2. 2in a way that people in general are not aware of A lot of negotiating has been going on behind the scenes. behind-the-scenes work
    not somebody's scene (informal)
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    not the type of thing that someone likes or enjoys doing
      set the scene (for something)
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    1. 1to create a situation in which something can easily happen or develop His arrival set the scene for another argument.
    2. 2to give someone the information and details they need in order to understand what comes next The first part of the program was just setting the scene.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: scene