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

Definition of onlooker

: one that looks on especially : a passive spectator

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Other Words from onlooker

onlooking \ ˈȯn-​ˌlu̇-​kiŋ How to pronounce onlooker (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Inside the event, an onlooker told PEOPLE that the pair were open with their affection towards one another. Katie Campione,, 18 June 2021 In a video captured by an onlooker, the group were lifted one-by-one in a basket and brought onto the helicopter. Washington Post, 8 June 2021 Video evidence of Floyd's killing taken by teenage onlooker Darnella Frazier was key evidence in the murder trial of the offending officer, Derek Chauvin. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, 25 May 2020 According to People, an onlooker at last night's event claimed that the pair were openly affectionate throughout the evening. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 16 June 2021 Inside the event, an onlooker tells PEOPLE Jenner and Scott were open with their affection towards one another. Gabrielle Chung,, 15 June 2021 One onlooker who had breathlessly hectored the bulls with delirious cries of incitement took a moment to wipe the sweat from his brown. Washington Post, 19 May 2021 An onlooker curious about the Kiwibot had a similar concern about being on the receiving end of food delivery. Arlene Borenstein-zuluaga,, 4 June 2021 The giant’s view was lovely enough to make any onlooker’s spirits surge. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 12 May 2021

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.

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First Known Use of onlooker

1606, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for onlooker

Time Traveler

The first known use of onlooker was in 1606

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Dictionary Entries Near onlooker



on loan



only child

only fair

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Statistics for onlooker

Last Updated

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Onlooker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for onlooker



English Language Learners Definition of onlooker

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


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

Kids Definition of onlooker

More from Merriam-Webster on onlooker

Nglish: Translation of onlooker for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of onlooker for Arabic Speakers


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