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

Late-season ocean swimmers and big-wave spectators should beware, forecasters said. Jordan Frias, BostonGlobe.com, "Rain and high winds headed for Cape and Islands as Dorian travels north," 6 Sep. 2019 While the players are trying to compete, so many spectators are walking up and down during play, getting to seats late, leaving in the middle of games, and generally disrupting matches. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Mailbag: Roger Federer's Loss to Dimitrov is the Biggest Upset of This U.S. Open," 4 Sep. 2019 Yet here was Herbstreit, being paid for his presence, scorning spectators with places to go, traffic to fight, babysitters to relieve, sleep to catch. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Kirk Herbstreit should blame ESPN for Louisville fans leaving the Notre Dame game early," 3 Sep. 2019 There was a time when Soldier Field could accommodate more than 100,000 spectators. Tim Bannon, chicagotribune.com, "Going to a Chicago Bears game at Soldier Field? Here’s the new ticket policy, where to tailgate, how to dress, what to eat and more," 3 Sep. 2019 Spectrum Stadium’s current capacity is 44,206 seats and last season, it was filled to near capacity after averaging 44,019 spectators during the team’s eight home games. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "As UCF football popularity surges, AD Danny White considers expanding stadium," 2 Sep. 2019 The rain did not keep spectators away from Light City at the Inner Harbor. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "Light City and Baltimore Book Festival are combining this year. Here’s a preview of what to expect.," 31 Aug. 2019 The sound of metal clanking against metal merged with the screams of thousands of delighted spectators as fighters struggled to distinguish friend from foe. Laura Mallonee, WIRED, "For These Sword-Wielding Warriors, Medieval Battles Live On," 27 Aug. 2019 Snap of the day HOOD TO COAST: The 199-mile relay race passed through Portland on Friday, bringing to town runners from 1,050 teams — and some colorful spectators to cheer them on. oregonlive.com, "Review finds Portland parking enforcement vulnerable to illegal conduct: Morning Briefing," 26 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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Statistics for spectator

Last Updated

9 Sep 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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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