spec·​ta·​tor | \ ˈspek-ˌtā-tər How to pronounce spectator (audio) , 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 How to pronounce spectatorial (audio) \ adjective
spectatorship \ ˈspek-​ˌtā-​tər-​ˌship How to pronounce spectatorship (audio) , 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 Less apparent to spectators but also built into the production is sound-sensor technology that responds to the actors’ voices. New York Times, "A Show Reminds Young Audiences: We All Got Here From Somewhere," 9 Jan. 2020 A week later it will be unveiled to 1,300 spectators. The Economist, "For Olympic climbing’s route-setters, a blank wall is a canvas," 18 Dec. 2019 The theater, a distinctive white tentlike structure, can accommodate up to 1,580 spectators per show. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "Cirque du Soleil, Disney announce name, other details of new show at Disney World," 10 Dec. 2019 The next day, as most of the state focused on the Alabama-LSU game and its presidential spectator, England’s transition team met the party’s landlord and changed the locks. Kyle Whitmire, al, "Dueling Dem party chairs: One has a key, the other says she has a gun," 16 Nov. 2019 Scherzer’s switch from starter to spectator did not go over well with the three-time Cy Young Award winner. Ronald Blum, courant.com, "Scherzer scratched with neck pain, leaving Nats’ Ross to start Game 5," 27 Oct. 2019 Gordon said being relegated to spectator was made easier by the Chargers pulling away for a mostly stress-free win. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Austin Ekeler kept Melvin Gordon on the Chargers sideline," 29 Sep. 2019 This time, the most serious, and the most relevant, part of the biennial’s schedule opens up to spectators. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "Denver’s Biennial of the Americas is back, and there’s a lot to do and see this year," 22 Sep. 2019 Sip a Pimm's Cup and Savor Some Strawberries & Cream Since first popping up at the 1971 Wimbledon tournament, over 300,000 of Wimbledon's famous cocktail are served to spectators at the Championships each year. Jaimie Potters, Town & Country, "The Best Ways to Experience Wimbledon," 7 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for spectator

Time Traveler

The first known use of spectator was circa 1586

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Statistics for spectator

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spectator.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spectator. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for spectator


How to pronounce spectator (audio)

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 How to pronounce spectator (audio) \

Kids Definition of spectator

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

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Comments on spectator

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


to insert between existing elements

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