1. The structure on which a spectacle or play is exhibited; the part of a theater in which the acting is done, with its adjuncts and decorations; the stage.
2. The decorations and fittings of a stage, representing the place in which the action is supposed to go on; one of the slides, or other devices, used to give an appearance of reality to the action of a play; as, to paint scenes; to shift the scenes; to go behind the scenes.
3. So much of a play as passes without change of locality or time, or important change of character; hence, a subdivision of an act; a separate portion of a play, subordinate to the act, but differently determined in different plays; as, an act of four scenes. My dismal scene I needs must act alone. (Shak)
4. The place, time, circumstance, etc, in which anything occurs, or in which the action of a story, play, or the like, is laid; surroundings amid which anything is set before the imagination; place of occurence, exhibition, or action. In troy, there lies the scene. The world is a vast scene of strife. (J. M. Mason)
5. An assemblage of objects presented to the view at once; a series of actions and events exhibited in their connection; a spectacle; a show; an exhibition; a view. Through what new scenes and changes must we pass! (Addison)
6. A landscape, or part of a landscape; scenery. A sylvan scene with various greens was drawn, shades on the sides, and in the midst a lawn. (Dryden)
7. An exhibition of passionate or strong feeling before others; often, an artifical or affected action, or course of action, done for effect; a theatrical display. Probably no lover of scenes would have had very long to wait or some explosions between parties, both equally ready to take offense, and careless of giving it. (De Quincey) Behind the scenes, behind the scenery of a theater; out of the view of the audience, but in sight of the actors, machinery, etc.; hence, conversant with the hidden motives and agencies of what appears to public view.
Origin: L. Scaena, scena, Gr. A covered place, a tent, a stage.