am·​phi·​the·​ater | \ ˈam(p)-fə-ˌthē(-ə)-tər also ˈam-pə-ˌthē- How to pronounce amphitheater (audio) \

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 How to pronounce amphitheatric (audio) also  ˌam-​pə-​thē-​ \ or amphitheatrical \ -​tri-​kəl How to pronounce amphitheatrical (audio) \ adjective
amphitheatrically \ -​tri-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce amphitheatrically (audio) \ 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 sprawling oasis has an amphitheater, classical Roman statues, grottos, ponds, fountains, and an abundance of flowers. Vogue, "These Are the 6 Gucci-Approved Places to Travel in 2019," 22 Jan. 2019 During the ceremony at the amphitheater, Trump sang along, with his hand over his chest, as the Navy band played the national anthem. Nicole Gaudiano, USA TODAY, "Trump honors America's fallen in Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery," 28 May 2018 Two years ago, American Family also became the naming rights partner of the 23,000-seat amphitheater at Henry W. Maier Festival Park, home to the city’s annual Summerfest music festival. Andrew Wagner, The Seattle Times, "Insurance giant takes over naming rights for Brewers stadium," 22 Jan. 2019 The utter thrill of seeing this interconnected waterway; the amphitheater-like structure, with the sprinkler in the middle, which then fed into a channel, letting the water flow down to a geometric wading pool. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "How not to cheat children: Let them build their own playgrounds," 18 July 2018 There would be lazy rivers, an unending tangle of waterslides, aquariums filled with exotic fish and crocodiles, and a giant amphitheater from which to watch daily shows. Christina Pérez, Vogue, "Summers Past: Inside an Eerie Abandoned Water Park in Vietnam," 6 June 2018 Aside from the large sports stadium, which could have a retractable roof, the venues could potentially range from a 100-seat amphitheater to a 6,000- to 8,000-seat venue, said Dean Marks, principal and general counsel at Sterling Bay. Ryan Ori,, "Live Nation to help develop Lincoln Yards entertainment district on North Side," 17 May 2018 Messam wants a new 5,000-seat amphitheater to be a gun-free venue., "Florida cities sue governor over gun regulations law," 3 Apr. 2018 An amphitheater is on the drawing boards too, as well as a wine cellar. Jay Cheshes, WSJ, "James Turrell’s New Masterpiece in the Desert," 14 Jan. 2019

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

17 Feb 2019

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 How to pronounce amphitheater (audio) \

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).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!