am·​phi·​the·​ater | \ ˈam(p)-fə-ˌthē(-ə)-tər How to pronounce amphitheater (audio) 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 How to pronounce amphitheater (audio) also  ˌam-​pə-​thē-​ \ or amphitheatrical \ ˌam(p)-​fə-​thē-​ˈa-​tri-​kəl How to pronounce amphitheater (audio) also  ˌam-​pə-​thē-​ \ adjective
amphitheatrically \ ˌam(p)-​fə-​thē-​ˈa-​tri-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce amphitheater (audio) also  ˌam-​pə-​thē-​ \ adverb

Synonyms for amphitheater


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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 Merriweather Post Pavilion, an open-air amphitheater in Columbia’s Symphony Woods, has become a major stopping-off point on the pop music circuit, offering everything from rap to folk. Allana Haynes,, "Guide to Howard County 2021: Arts and activities," 24 Feb. 2021 And how does that play into what you guys will do with the amphitheater, which is obviously an outdoor venue? Matt Wake |, al, "Is Huntsville’s 2021 concert outlook any better than 2020?," 19 Feb. 2021 Per the Art Newspaper’s Hilarie M. Sheets, featured sites include Prospect Park in Brooklyn, the historically black Fisk University in Nashville and an amphitheater in Houston. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Seven Women Artists Are Celebrating Kamala Harris’ Historic Inauguration," 21 Jan. 2021 Live performances will take place at the zoo’s amphitheater, and candy stations will be available. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "29 last-minute Halloween events to check out this spooky season," 21 Oct. 2020 This Utah program focuses specifically on kids experiencing hunger, and it is sponsored primarily by USANA, which also runs the amphitheater in West Valley City by the same name. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, "This is where you can donate food, time or money in Utah to help those experiencing hunger," 1 Jan. 2021 Rumors swirled that the event might move to a new site, with Matt Mithun's amphitheater in Somerset, Wis. — an hour from the Twin Cities, instead of the three hours to Detroit Lakes — being one possible candidate. Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune, "We Fest will return to Detroit Lakes in 2021 after planned hiatus," 21 Nov. 2020 The playhouse plan is to use the outdoor amphitheater in Memorial Bowl, two blocks away. Diane Bell Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Chula Vista theater fights for right to perform outdoors," 26 Oct. 2020 Attendance at the open-air Tuacahn amphitheater was capped at around 25% of its usual 1,920-seat capacity and guests were required to physically distance. Taylor Stevens, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox is sworn in as Utah’s 18th governor," 4 Jan. 2021

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

Middle English amphitheatre, borrowed from Latin amphitheātrum, borrowed from Greek amphithéātron, noun derivative from neuter of amphithéātros "(of a stadium) having seats for spectators all around," from amphi- amphi- + -theātros, derivative of théātron "place for viewing a drama, theater entry 1"

Note: The term is also used in isolated, partially naturalized Old English attestations, as anfiteatrum and anfiteatra.

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Time Traveler for amphitheater

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for amphitheater

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Amphitheater.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce amphitheater (audio) \

Kids Definition of amphitheater

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

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