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

Food, fun, family and fireworks are what drew spectators, volunteers and vendors to the 12th annual Crescenta Valley Fourth of July fireworks celebration at Crescenta Valley High School on Wednesday. Andrew J. Campa, latimes.com, "Crescenta Valley fireworks event brings families together," 6 July 2018 The community was ready, with spectators, many decked out in red, white and blue and waving U.S. flags, standing and sitting on lawn chairs and the curb along the parade route. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Parade, craft fair and turtle races mark Fourth of July fun in Hinsdale," 5 July 2018 Hundreds of Southland spectators, like Miller, lined LaPorte and Wolf roads in Mokena for this year’s parade. David Gleisner, Daily Southtown, "Mokena parade draws Fourth of July crowds from across south suburbs," 4 July 2018 The men play in the heat, the sun and the rain (except for thunderstorms) and show their abilities to spectators (usually wives and friends) who are treated to the skills of running for the bases, throwing the runners out and hitting home runs. Marvin Glassman, Jewish Journal, "Men relive their youth through JCC summer softball league," 3 July 2018 Ironically, a crowd of spectators, many with binoculars, had gathered in El Cap Meadow that morning to watch Caldwell and Honnold attempt the record. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "Witness to death plunge of 2 climbers on El Capitan describes horrific final moments," 10 June 2018 Judging is done by spectators, participants and sponsors. Geoff Bruce, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Everything you need to know about Fourth of July in Milwaukee and the suburbs," 6 June 2018 Including drivers, spectators, pit members, etc, there have been 73 deaths at Indy since its beginning. Nick Canepa, sandiegouniontribune.com, "'Greatest spectacle in racing' has lost its luster," 3 June 2018 Error loading player: No playable sources found Players were on the field at the time and the stands held 200 to 300 spectators, reported WGME. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "He confessed to a 1968 hit-and-run, then died Friday saving kids from a car in a park, cops say," 3 June 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

14 Jan 2019

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

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


a complex dispute or argument

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  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
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