spec·​ta·​tor | \ˈspek-ˌtā-tər, spek-ˈtā-\

Definition of spectator 

1 : one who looks on or watches

2 : a shoe having contrasting colors with a perforated design at the toe and sometimes heel

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Other Words from spectator

spectator adjective
spectatorial \ ˌspek-​tə-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​əl \ adjective
spectatorship \ ˈspek-​ˌtā-​tər-​ˌship , spek-​ˈtā-​ \ noun

Examples of spectator in a Sentence

The spectators lining the road cheered the racers on. The accident attracted a large crowd of spectators. I wasn't a participant in the preparations, merely a spectator.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The mass shooting shook the gaming circuit of esports, a major industry where serious players, some of them former athletes, travel the country to compete in lucrative tournaments streamed live to online spectators. Alan Blinder, The Seattle Times, "Jacksonville shooting suspect appeared to be targeting specific gamers, police say," 28 Aug. 2018 In a matter of seconds, the rocket is piercing through the sky, accelerating its historic payload to a rendezvous with the sun as cheers erupt from the spectators. Robin Seemangal, Popular Mechanics, "A Workhorse Rocket Maker Tries to Touch the Sun—And Stay Relevant," 16 Aug. 2018 The spectators seemed to really enjoy themselves and interacting with those that passed by. Daniel I. Dorfman, chicagotribune.com, "Controversial lawn mowers, firetruck sirens and crowds cheering the parade – a typical July 4 in Lake Bluff," 6 July 2018 Even though Independence Day falls in the middle of the week this year, the spectators will be huge in number, traffic will be slow, and the best viewing spots will fill early. Mel Shields, sacbee, "Fireworks and music mesh at Lake Tahoe's dazzling fireworks shows," 29 June 2018 Parade spectators are encouraged to set up chairs along Mount Vernon Road and Dunwoody Village Parkway up to the shops on the right and the parade entrance into Dunwoody Village. Helena Oliviero, ajc, "9 family-friendly ways to celebrate July Fourth in metro Atlanta," 25 June 2018 Race spectators are encouraged to stay hydrated, wear loose and light-colored clothing, take breaks in shade or air conditioning and routinely apply sunscreen. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "Warm Memorial Day weekend will wrap up one of Indy's hottest Mays on record," 24 May 2018 But Miami’s spring game on April 14 at Hard Rock Stadium will give spectators their first chance to see, somewhat, how each signal caller has developed. Christy Cabrera Chirinos, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Quarterback depth creating stronger competition for Hurricanes offense," 4 Apr. 2018 The motivation was mostly logistics, Bush said, to give spectators inside and around the clubhouse a better view of play. Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle, "LPGA gives Lake Merced another go," 28 Feb. 2018

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

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spectator

Latin, from spectare to watch

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Statistics for spectator

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spectator

The first known use of spectator was circa 1586

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More Definitions for spectator



English Language Learners Definition of spectator

: a person who watches an event, show, game, activity, etc., often as part of an audience


spec·​ta·​tor | \ˈspek-ˌtā-tər \

Kids Definition of spectator

: a person who looks on (as at a sports event)

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Comments on spectator

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