am·​phi·​the·​ater | \ˈam(p)-fə-ˌthē(-ə)-tər also ˈam-pə-ˌthē- \

Definition of amphitheater 

1 : an oval or circular building with rising tiers of seats ranged about an open space and used in ancient Rome especially for contests and spectacles

2a : a very large auditorium

b : a room with a gallery from which doctors and students may observe surgical operations

c : a rising gallery in a modern theater

d : a flat or gently sloping area surrounded by abrupt slopes

3 : a place of public entertainment (as for games or concerts)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from amphitheater

amphitheatric \ ˌam(p)-​fə-​thē-​ˈa-​trik also  ˌam-​pə-​thē-​ \ or amphitheatrical \ -​tri-​kəl \ adjective
amphitheatrically \ -​tri-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Synonyms for amphitheater


arena, auditorium, garden, hall, theater (or theatre)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of amphitheater in a Sentence

the conference attendees crowded into the amphitheater for the keynote address

Recent Examples on the Web

The middle and southern portions in the new scheme will include an amphitheater, an arboretum with natural plantings, a cross-country trail and other passive, low-maintenance green space. Bill Banks, ajc, "Plan for old UMCH property favors passive, ‘park-like’ green space," 30 June 2018 Greenfield Assistant Planner Jenna Wertman said the cities want a greenway system that links to Greenfield’s Penssy Trail and could include a cultural-trail-type route in Greenfield and an amphitheater in its downtown. Indianapolis Star, "Here comes Fortville: Tiny burg nabs $9M in funds for Main Street facelift, trail," 18 June 2018 Residents will be able to vote on their preferred uses in the coming months: Pitches so far include an amphitheater, a dog park and an adult exercise space with features for parkour — an activity a bit like running an obstacle course. Marissa J. Lang, Washington Post, "‘They’re kind of mesmerizing’: These nine goats draw spectators while clearing an overgrown Maryland park," 25 May 2018 Alternatively, seeing acts like The Lumineers, Alabama Shakes and Sturgill Simpson go from playing for modest crowds at SPACE to headlining large amphitheaters, arenas and festivals is an unbelievable thrill. Genevieve Bookwalter,, "Shout Out: Jake Samuels books talent for music venue," 17 May 2018 There is a new expanded Teen Zone with a 250-foot Zip Line, and for those ages 21 and over, adult beverages are available in the festival beer garden at the amphitheater. Luann Gibbs,, "Top 5 events in Cincinnati this weekend," 6 July 2018 The guides cover the history of the railway and the creation of the park while pointing out such subtle details as the GPS coordinates on the tracks and the art deco railing on the amphitheater. Andrea Sachs,, "Take a walk on New York's High Line from end-to-end," 2 July 2018 Other concerts at the amphitheater include Weezer and Pixies July 7, Rob Zombie & Marilyn Manson July 15, the final Vans Warped Tour here July 21 and Godsmack with Shinedown July 27. Vickie Snow Jurkowski, Daily Southtown, "Melissa Etheridge, Sheila E., Salt N Pepa among female acts to perform in south suburbs," 20 June 2018 The amphitheater finishes, the constant large galleries, which is a lot of fun. Christopher Hanna,, "Jordan Spieth Looks Back at Bunker Shot, Talks Travelers Championship," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amphitheater.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of amphitheater

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for amphitheater

Latin amphitheatrum, from Greek amphitheatron, from amphi- + theatron theater

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about amphitheater

Share amphitheater

Statistics for amphitheater

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for amphitheater

The first known use of amphitheater was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for amphitheater



English Language Learners Definition of amphitheater

: a large building with seats rising in curved rows around an open space on which games and plays take place

: an area of level ground surrounded by hills


am·​phi·​the·​ater | \ˈam-fə-ˌthē-ə-tər \

Kids Definition of amphitheater

: an arena with seats rising in curved rows around an open space

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on amphitheater

What made you want to look up amphitheater? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!