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

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 The sighting coincides with the height of the Northern Taurids meteor shower, which is known for its spectacular fireballs. CBS News, "Meteor streaks across the sky over St. Louis at height of Northern Taurids shower," 12 Nov. 2019 Barkov was stopped on a pair of shots about 45 seconds apart, and Greiss had a spectacular save on Mike Hoffman's shot from the right circle about seven minutes in. Vin A. Cherwoo, sun-sentinel.com, "Panthers stymied by Isles goalie Greiss, high-stick call on Barkov goal in third period," 9 Nov. 2019 In that deep red state, voters delivered a spectacular, if narrow, victory to Democrat Andy Beshear over incumbent governor and Donald Trump fanboy Matt Bevin on Tuesday. BostonGlobe.com, "Wait. Could this be . . . hope?," 7 Nov. 2019 The special will highlight spectacular holiday displays, including the Los Angeles home of The Property Brothers' Drew Scott and Linda Phan. Selena Barrientos, House Beautiful, "Lance Bass Is Hosting HGTV Holiday Special Outrageous to Kick Off the Season," 7 Nov. 2019 The Italians also become known for their spectacular Venetian glass goblets in the 16th century. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "Here's Why Proper Dining Etiquette Is Still Important, and What to Know," 6 Nov. 2019 The players Joel Hofer 2 (14) Not spectacular but steady when the Winterhawks were otherwise sloppy. Dylan Bumbarger, oregonlive, "Hofer’s 29 saves lead Winterhawks over Seattle," 3 Nov. 2019 And for a second straight month, average hourly wages rose a decent, if less than spectacular, 3% from a year ago. Bani Sapra, Twin Cities, "US economy defies threats with a solid job gain for October," 1 Nov. 2019 The autumn light is spectacular, especially early in the morning and in the evening. Natalie B. Compton, chicagotribune.com, "Why fall is the best time of year to travel to Europe," 8 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ever since its debut in 1924, the holiday event has evolved from a two-block procession of circus animals into what is easily our favorite over-the-top spectacular of the year (take that, Super Bowl Halftime Show). Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: 2018 Information and Event History," 21 Nov. 2018 This account of the HQ2 bidding spectacular is based on interviews with dozens of city and state officials, developers and people familiar with the company’s thinking. Shayndi Raice, WSJ, "How Amazon Picked HQ2 and Jilted 236 Cities," 14 Nov. 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 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 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 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 Browned butter and fresh lemon juice complete the scene, and all of a sudden, one Technicolor spectacular of a culinary moment is born. Alex Hitz, House Beautiful, "Parmesan-Crusted Chicken with Lemon Butter from Alex Hitz," 1 Nov. 2014

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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Statistics for spectacular

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for spectacular

The first known use of spectacular was in 1682

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More Definitions for spectacular


How to pronounce spectacular (audio)

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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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).


something of little or no value

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