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[si-nair-ee-oh, -nahr-] /sɪˈnɛər iˌoʊ, -ˈnɑr-/
noun, plural scenarios.
an outline of the plot of a dramatic work, giving particulars as to the scenes, characters, situations, etc.
the outline or the manuscript of a motion picture or television program, giving the action in the order in which it takes place, the description of scenes and characters, etc.
an imagined or projected sequence of events, especially any of several detailed plans or possibilities:
One scenario calls for doubling profits by increasing our advertising, the other by reducing costs.
Origin of scenario
1875-80; < Italian < Latin scēnārium. See scene, -ary
3. scheme, plan, concept, sketch. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for scenarios
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I find I've got lots more twaddle-sketches and things half-finished, and scenarios that were invariably returned to me.

    Thorley Weir E. F. (Edward Frederic) Benson
  • He had a habit of falling in love with women more ardently than with scenarios.

    We Can't Have Everything Rupert Hughes
  • He announced to Laurent-Jan that he was hard at work and was preparing some scenarios for him.

    Honoré de Balzac Albert Keim and Louis Lumet
  • They will be written by the most famous writers of scenarios.

  • Why write stories when scenarios are not only much less exhausting, but actually more remunerative?

British Dictionary definitions for scenarios


noun (pl) -narios
a summary of the plot of a play, etc, including information about its characters, scenes, etc
a predicted sequence of events: let's try another scenario, involving the demise of democracy
Derived Forms
scenarist (ˈsiːnərɪst; sɪˈnɑː-) noun
Word Origin
C19: via Italian from Latin scēnārium, from scēna; see scene
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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Word Origin and History for scenarios



1868, "sketch of the plot of a play," from Italian scenario, from Late Latin scenarius "of stage scenes," from Latin scena "scene" (see scene). Meaning "imagined situation" is first recorded 1960, in reference to hypothetical nuclear wars.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for scenarios



A reasoned or imagined pattern of events in the future; a possible plan: According to one scenario we only kill 87 percent of the population (1962+)

Related Terms

worst-case scenario

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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