spec·​tac·​u·​lar | \ spek-ˈta-kyə-lər How to pronounce spectacular (audio) , spək- \

Definition of spectacular

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being a spectacle : striking, sensational a spectacular display of fireworks



Definition of spectacular (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is spectacular especially : an elaborate film, television, or theatrical production

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Other Words from spectacular


spectacularly adverb

Synonyms for spectacular

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of spectacular in a Sentence

Adjective a spectacular play in a football game The autumn foliage was spectacular. Noun the larger-than-life spectaculars that make Las Vegas attractive to people with little interest in gambling
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Baker said the ice was about 10 to 15 feet tall and the scene was spectacular. Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press, "Blue ice makes for a spectacular site in Straits of Mackinac, leaving many in awe," 12 Feb. 2021 The technology in the 2021 Escalade 4WD Sport Platinum is pretty spectacular. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, "Are you ready for hands-free driving?," 11 Feb. 2021 Credit for that doesn't just go to Brady, who simply needed to be good instead of spectacular on this night. Tim Dahlberg, Star Tribune, "Column: Brady remains great in a season like no other," 7 Feb. 2021 Aaron Rodgers was spectacular, completing 31 of 36 passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns, and rushing for another score. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "Can the Browns beat the Chiefs? No. 1 seeds have lost 30% of playoff games after a bye week since 1995," 13 Jan. 2021 Mel had a worthy companion in his son, an able driver who is coming into his own as a big-wave surfer, and the result was spectacular. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "In Mavericks’ dream surf season, 51-year-old Peter Mel making big-wave history," 16 Jan. 2021 Bradford wasn’t spectacular – his longest pass play was 19 yards – but steady. oregonlive, "Reviewing Oregon State 2020 football: Not a great year for receivers, but there’s promise for future seasons," 14 Jan. 2021 For the first time in 114 years, the New Year’s Eve spectacular in Times Square will be held without a live audience due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Angela Bertorelli, Fox News, "New Year's Eve in Times Square to ring in 2021 without the party crowd," 1 Jan. 2021 The zoo’s annual holiday light spectacular features more than 1 million lights illuminating hundreds of displays in four themed lands: Candyland, Enchanted Forest, Conservation Trail and Santa’s Workshop. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "16 things to do in Cleveland this weekend, Dec. 25-27," 24 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The music spectacular was a show-stopping stand-in for the inaugural ball, which was canceled due to COVID-19 safety precautions. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Bidens Wore Sparkles, Suiting, and Sneakers for Inauguration Night," 21 Jan. 2021 The Sunday spectacular has been fed a steady and fatty diet of preposterous claims and Grecian idolatry by both networks almost to the point of digestive revolt. Jerry Nason, BostonGlobe.com, "Super Bowl I arrived with a splash back in 1967," 17 Jan. 2021 His gift is a Christmas lighting spectacular rarely seen. Linda Gandee, cleveland, "North Ridgeville home puts on holiday lighting spectacular; Santa arrives this Saturday," 17 Dec. 2020 Niagara grape-growers were blessed with a spectacular, if smaller, summer crop in 2020, encouraging wineries to maximize their table wine output and leave fewer grapes behind for the signature drink. Doug Alexander, Bloomberg.com, "In World’s Top Ice Wine Region, 2020 Vintage Will Be Rare Find," 22 Dec. 2020 While the spectacular normally takes place at Hermann Square at City Hall in downtown Houston, this year the event will be livestreamed on ABC 13. Shelby Stewart, Chron, "Where to see holiday lights in Houston," 20 Nov. 2020 Like the national temperament, the climate rarely tends toward the extreme or the spectacular. Hermione Hoby, New York Times, "Heated Car Seats Are an Antidote to Our Grief," 17 Nov. 2020 Rob Lott, a Humdinger along with Zack Simpson, Michael Swickard and John Barnick, said the performances won’t replace the hundreds of singers, musicians and dancers that draw thousands to the usual CFCArts holiday spectacular. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando’s Christmas plans: Broadway star, kids, new CFCArts shows and more ‘Nutcracker’," 10 Nov. 2020 Davis has become so dominant as of late that teammates cannot help but envision him performing the spectacular. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Opinion: There's still basketball to play, but Lakers' Anthony Davis looks like NBA Finals MVP," 3 Oct. 2020

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


1682, in the meaning defined above


1873, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spectacular


Latin spectaculum

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Time Traveler for spectacular

Time Traveler

The first known use of spectacular was in 1682

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Statistics for spectacular

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spectacular.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spectacular. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for spectacular



English Language Learners Definition of spectacular

: causing wonder and admiration : very impressive


spec·​tac·​u·​lar | \ spek-ˈta-kyə-lər How to pronounce spectacular (audio) \

Kids Definition of spectacular

: striking, showy a spectacular sunset

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