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)

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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)

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Examples of amphitheater in a Sentence

the conference attendees crowded into the amphitheater for the keynote address

Recent Examples on the Web

The only splashes of color are found in a multicolored glass wall on the upper-level mezzanine, where doors open onto the roof amphitheater. Julie V. Iovine., WSJ, "A Shrine to Honor Service," 24 Oct. 2018 The amphitheater is located at 10920 Meeting Street in Prospect. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Tour the universe at Norton Commons' free stargazing event with space experts," 3 Oct. 2017 The church has is a spacious, half-circle indoor amphitheater with purple fabric seats and benches that holds 3,500. Fox News, "The Latest: Firefighters salute, mourners hold McCain signs," 30 Aug. 2018 The Pima and Dynamite Trailhead also will be home to a small amphitheater used for educational sessions hosted through the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Hiker alert: 3 trailheads getting upgrades in Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve," 13 July 2018 In the amphitheater, the Academy’s highest perch, 529 seats will be replaced, but the long, antique, pew-like wood backs of seating rows will be kept. Peter Dobrin,, "Academy of Music is replacing its lumpy old seats - and, no, you're not getting cup holders," 12 July 2018 The Indianapolis Shakespeare Company puts on a free modern-dress, two-hours-or-less Shakespeare play each summer in the White River State Park amphitheater. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "Ultimate Indiana bucket list: 50+ things to do in Indianapolis and around the state," 11 July 2018 Various improvements, including an amphitheater at the base of the cascade, are being built. New York Times, "A City Founded by Alexander Hamilton Sets the Stage for Its Next Act," 5 July 2018 There are also extraordinary Roman ruins, crowned by a 2,000-year-old amphitheater, which is still used for bullfights and concerts. Stephen Heyman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Arles, France’s Old Arts Mecca, Is Also Its Newest," 1 May 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.

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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

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Statistics for amphitheater

Last Updated

6 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for amphitheater

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

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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

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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).


someone who never drinks alcohol

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