Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


The scenes that followed were remarkably impressive and unparalleled.

Some scenes have been so seared into my brain that I can never forget them.

Behind the scenes, as we are now, Vivian, what use can there be in talking in that strain?

These are the sorts of scenes that harden lads, and make them fond of risks.

The walls of this room were painted with scenes from the Trojan war.

Somehow or other, it is one of the scenes that remind us most forcibly of the loss of youth!

One day my mother had the curiosity to come behind the scenes.

It seemed to echo in the distance like the laughing behind the scenes on the stage.

True, I was "behind the scenes with you;" but what did I see?

He was a vagabond and an outcast, and scenes of horror were not new to him.


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.

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.