Definition of scenario in English:

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Pronunciation: /səˈnerēˌō/

noun (plural scenarios)

1A written outline of a movie, novel, or stage work giving details of the plot and individual scenes: imagine the scenarios for four short stories
More example sentences
  • He entered the film industry taking small-part roles and writing scenarios for the London Film Company.
  • This at least saves me trying to comprehend how anybody could write such abysmal dialogue, characters, and plot scenarios.
  • Imagine being able to create scenarios instead of linear plot threads, world environments instead of single scenes.
plot, outline, synopsis, storyline, framework;
screenplay, script, libretto
formal diegesis
1.1A postulated sequence or development of events: a possible scenario is that he was attacked after opening the front door
More example sentences
  • Rather it postulates possible future scenarios without making any assessment of the likelihood that any one scenario will occur.
  • In any event, this scenario is simply not possible with this democracy and civil society will not accept it.
  • Worst case scenarios predict that hundreds of thousands of Balinese who depend on the tourism sector could lose their livelihood.
sequence of events, course of events, chain of events, series of developments, situation
1.2A setting, in particular for a work of art or literature: the scenario is World War II
More example sentences
  • Here, as in an interviewing scenario, two people are seated in a situation to be recorded.
  • Monumental, even cosmic, this painting brings to mind Creation scenarios.
  • The optical mouse is comfortable in most scenarios, but is not an ergonomic masterpiece.
setting, background, context, scene, milieu


Strictly, a scenario is ‘an outline of a plot’ or ‘a postulated sequence of events’: the worst-case scenario. It is often used loosely to mean ‘situation,’ as in a nightmare scenario, but this should be avoided in careful writing.


Late 19th century: from Italian, from Latin scena 'scene'.

Words that rhyme with scenario

impresario, Lothario, Polisario, Rosario

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sce·nar·i·o

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