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

SeatGeek Stadium can hold 20,000 spectators, but the Fire’s figures show attendance has been well below that during the team’s 13 years in Bridgeview. John Keilman, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago Fire fans say Soldier Field could be an appealing location: ‘There’s an appetite for soccer fandom in Chicago’," 11 July 2019 The two hugged and kissed as 58,000 spectators cheered Team USA's second consecutive World Cup victory and fourth title overall. Doug Criss, CNN, "Megan Rapinoe seals her World Cup win with a kiss," 8 July 2019 Start off the day with the Zombie Run, where runners and spectators alike show up in full costume. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "24 Halloween Celebrations Across America to Spook Your Socks Off," 8 July 2019 In France, Olympique Lyonnais has won six of the last nine Champion’s League Finals, and brought more than 19,000 spectators per match to each home game last season. Maggie Mertens, The Atlantic, "The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Deserves More Than a Trophy," 7 July 2019 But users sometimes accidentally put fireworks shells upside-down in the launcher, which can cause the effect charge to erupt too close to the ground, injuring workers and spectators. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "Seven Inventions For a Safer Fourth of July," 3 July 2019 The crash appeared to be the worst U.S. civil aviation accident since a 2011 accident at the Reno Air Show in Nevada that killed the pilot and 10 spectators. Andrew Selsky, The Denver Post, "Vail snowboarder among 11 killed after skydiving plane crashes in Hawaii," 23 June 2019 And with high summer temperatures raising the risk for heat strokes — notably among runners and football, tennis and soccer players — event organizers are working to protect competitors and spectators. Lynne Peeples, NBC News, "Climate change is good for surfing. Other sports, not so much.," 20 June 2019 According to a California Highway Patrol report cited by the Salinas Californian, a vendor and four spectators were struck at 10:20 a.m. when the vehicle rolled forward. Tod Leonard And Sam Farmer, latimes.com, "Tiger Woods feeling ‘hot’ after bogeys on 17 and 18 at U.S. Open," 14 June 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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Statistics for spectator

Last Updated

15 Jul 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 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 form ideas or theories about something

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