spectacle

noun
spec·​ta·​cle | \ ˈspek-ti-kəl How to pronounce spectacle (audio) also -ˌti-kəl\

Definition of spectacle

1a : something exhibited to view as unusual, notable, or entertaining especially : an eye-catching or dramatic public display
b : an object of curiosity or contempt made a spectacle of herself
2 spectacles\ ˈspek-​ti-​kəlz How to pronounce spectacles (audio) also  -​ˌti-​kəlz\ plural : a device used to correct defects of vision : glasses
3 : something (such as natural markings on an animal) suggesting a pair of glasses

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Examples of spectacle in a Sentence

He peered through his spectacles. the multimedia spectacles that have become established parts of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympic Games

Recent Examples on the Web

Sad times for the fashionably late crew who missed this bonafide spectacle. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Lady Gaga Wears Four Looks on the 2019 Met Gala Red Carpet," 6 May 2019 Halsey, who performed at this year's Victoria Secret Fashion Show, called out the annual lingerie spectacle on Instagram Sunday night (December 2). Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Halsey Calls Out the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show’s 'Lack of Inclusivity'," 3 Dec. 2018 Now World Cup Village at The Banks are a series of street parties and soccer watching venues designed as the official Cincinnati gathering place for the sporting spectacle. Dave Clark, Cincinnati.com, "Reds: World Cup Village scarf part of special ticket package," 21 June 2018 The game got off to a frantic start, however there was no rhythm to the game as both sides struggled to settle into the match - making for a rather tedious spectacle for long periods. SI.com, "Croatia 2-0 Nigeria: Ivan Rakitić Pulls the Strings as Disappointing Super Eagles Suffer Defeat," 16 June 2018 Alternatively, it could be seen as the minimal possible substance required for the surrounding spectacle and its self-serving claims of a historic peace deal to be sustained by both parties. The Economist, "Kim Jong Un did better than Donald Trump at the Singapore summit," 14 June 2018 In response to each new medium’s persuasive power, a healthy popular response ridiculing the rubes falling for the spectacle has arisen. Michael J. Socolow, Smithsonian, "In its Heyday, Mad Magazine Was a Lot More Than Silly Jokes," 11 May 2018 Critically, Trump’s quest for spectacle is not constrained by any overarching worldview. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trumpism Is Having Its Best Week Ever," 10 May 2018 When Beyoncé strolled onto Coachella’s desert stage like a drum major on the night of April 16, no one was prepared for the spectacle that was to come. Danielle Jackson, Longreads, "Why Beyoncé Placed HBCU’s at the Center of American Life," 7 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for spectacle

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin spectaculum, from spectare to watch, frequentative of specere to look, look at — more at spy

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Statistics for spectacle

Last Updated

14 May 2019

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Time Traveler for spectacle

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

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More Definitions for spectacle

spectacle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of spectacle

: a very impressive show
: something that attracts attention because it is very unusual or very shocking
old-fashioned : a pair of lenses set into a frame and worn over the eyes

spectacle

noun
spec·​ta·​cle | \ ˈspek-ti-kəl How to pronounce spectacle (audio) \

Kids Definition of spectacle

1 : an unusual or impressive public display (as a big parade)
2 spectacles plural : glass sense 3
3 : an object of curiosity or contempt Don't make a spectacle of yourself!

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Comments on spectacle

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to mark by some ceremony or observation

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