1620s, "of or belonging to the stage or drama, theatrical," from French scénique (14c.) and directly from Latin scaenicus "dramatic, theatrical," from Greek skenikos, from skēnē (see scene). Meaning "of or belonging to natural scenery" is recorded from 1842. Of roads, etc., "offering fine views," recorded since 1885. Scenic railway is recorded from 1886. Related: Scenically.