spec·tac·u·lar | \spek-ˈta-kyə-lər, 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

circus, extravaganza, pageant, spectacle

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Examples of spectacular in a Sentence


a spectacular play in a football game The autumn foliage was spectacular.


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

The Daily Mirror reported that Clooney waltzed Kate and Meghan around the dance floor before a spectacular fireworks display capped off the evening. Katie Nicholl, Vanities, "Inside the Royal Wedding Reception: Beer Pong, D.J. Idris Elba, and George Clooney Dancing with Two Duchesses," 21 May 2018 During June and July, don’t miss the spectacular display of flowering rhododendron that covers the mountains with its bright pink blooms around nearby Craggy Gardens. Jessica Levy, USA TODAY, "6 reasons you’re going to love the outdoors in Asheville, North Carolina," 30 Apr. 2018 Each spring, nature wields a paintbrush over the Bay Area foothills and beyond, bringing forth wildflowers that ignite into spectacular displays across the hills and valleys of Northern California. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Northern California hot spots for spring wildflowers," 12 Apr. 2018 Deshaun Watson, who was spectacular in the first half of last season before a knee injury derailed his rookie campaign, is ranked as the 16th best quarterback in the game. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Texans players' Madden 19 video game ratings," 12 July 2018 But Hill has often been spectacular since grabbing the job one month into his freshman season. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "The best running backs in college football for 2018," 4 July 2018 With 2,500 reporters attending, the summit was quite the TV spectacular. The Economist, "Kim Jong Un did better than Donald Trump at the Singapore summit," 14 June 2018 And the effects, in concert with Robert Elswit’s cinematography, are spectacular. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Skyscraper’ Review: Outsize Building, Outlandish Fun," 12 July 2018 By all accounts, the interior is going to be spectacular, while the exterior will retain its historic understated charm. Jennifer Larue, The Seattle Times, "Soaking up Manhattan’s literary history: A book lover’s bar-hopping guide," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

If your area isn’t a risk for wildfires, check out our recommendations on where to catch the best firework spectaculars in the West. Marie Salcido, Sunset, "Will Drones Replace Your Fourth of July Fireworks?," 22 Jan. 2018 The show, which concludes on May 26, is the latest edition of Disney’s live-to-film spectaculars, following The Little Mermaid and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Keith Caulfield, Billboard, "'Beauty and the Beast' in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl: 8 Animated Highlights," 26 May 2018 More: Jack-O-Lantern spectacular: What to expect at this year's Halloween must-see event More: Beauty with a dash of spooky. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is back. Here's how to get in free," 16 Oct. 2017 Unfortunately, until those critical funds and resources come through, the hit Broadway spectacular will have to suffice. Michael Andor Brodeur, BostonGlobe.com, "The Weekender: A marathon pre-Marathon weekend," 12 Apr. 2018 That might make Washington more skeptical of the freewheeling, unscripted headline grabbing reality-show style television spectaculars that Trump seems to relish -- but have now twice been proven not to shape policy. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump not so tough on guns," 12 Mar. 2018 Cirque du Soleil has announced the dates for Sep7imo Día - No Descansaré, its acrobatic spectacular based on the music and story of the Argentine trio Soda Stereo. Judy Cantor-navas, Billboard, "Cirque du Soleil Announces U.S. Dates for Soda Stereo Spectacular," 4 Jan. 2018 Cirque du Soleil combines circus arts such as juggling, high-wire acts and other specialty skills with colorful costumes and evocative music to create visual and aural spectaculars. Matthew J. Palm, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Cirque du Soleil's 'La Nouba' replacement will focus on Disney," 18 Dec. 2017 Founding his own eponymous theater company, Dragone went on to create a live residency show for Canadian pop singer Celine Dion, and launch death-defying aquatic spectaculars in Macau and Las Vegas. Zeena Saifi, Jon Jensen, CNN, "Franco Dragone brings his splashy magic to Dubai," 27 Sep. 2017

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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Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for spectacular

The first known use of spectacular was in 1682

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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 \

Kids Definition of spectacular

: striking, showy a spectacular sunset

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Comments on spectacular

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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