onlooker

noun
on·​look·​er | \ ˈȯn-ˌlu̇-kər How to pronounce onlooker (audio) , ˈän- \

Definition of onlooker

: one that looks on especially : a passive spectator

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from onlooker

onlooking \ ˈȯn-​ˌlu̇-​kiŋ How to pronounce onlooking (audio) , ˈän-​ \ adjective

Examples of onlooker in a Sentence

Curious onlookers watched the ceremony. An onlooker noticed the disturbance. A crowd of onlookers gathered at the fire.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web In one video from Denver, an officer leaving a seemingly peaceful scene shot a pepper ball directly into the camera phone of an onlooker. Jake Seiner, The Christian Science Monitor, "Black Lives Matter movement: A case for camera phones?," 17 June 2020 Police actions that strike an onlooker as inappropriate may actually be within a department’s rules. Andrew Ford, ProPublica, "I Cover Cops as an Investigative Reporter. Here Are Five Ways You Can Start Holding Your Department Accountable.," 4 June 2020 The station reports that an onlooker said people at the scene weren't protesting and were just ignoring the city's curfew. CBS News, "Man shot and killed by police as protests went on in Louisville," 1 June 2020 Oklahoma County sheriff’s deputies stationed outside a jail in Oklahoma City took a knee Sunday in solidarity with those protesting the death of George Floyd, evoking applause from a large crowd of onlookers. Fox News, "Oklahoma deputies take a knee in solidarity, hug protesters demanding justice for George Floyd," 2 June 2020 Hundreds of onlookers abandoned their places around the Confederate monument and swarmed. Kyle Whitmire, al, "When a Confederate monument wouldn’t fall, rioters turned on Birmingham," 1 June 2020 One happy senior sprayed Silly String out the window to the delight of onlookers. Beth Mlady, cleveland, "Senior send-off parade honors Berea-Midpark High School graduates (photos)," 22 May 2020 The annual event typically announces its starting location in advance but not the route of the ride, to prevent crowds of onlookers. oregonlive, "Naked Bike Ride cancels Portland gathering for 2020," 5 May 2020 The onlooker also said the scuffle left blood splattered on the fighters' clothing. Benjamin Vanhoose, PEOPLE.com, "Brawl Aboard Spirit Airlines Flight Forces Emergency Landing: 'We Were in Shock'," 4 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'onlooker.' 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 onlooker

1606, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about onlooker

Time Traveler for onlooker

Time Traveler

The first known use of onlooker was in 1606

See more words from the same year

Statistics for onlooker

Last Updated

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Onlooker.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/onlooker. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for onlooker

onlooker

noun
How to pronounce onlooker (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of onlooker

: a person who watches an activity or event without being involved in it

onlooker

noun
on·​look·​er | \ ˈȯn-ˌlu̇-kər How to pronounce onlooker (audio) , ˈän- \

Kids Definition of onlooker

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on onlooker

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Thing: Animal Edition

  • alt 5a023732e6f75
  • Name that animal:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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