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 Last year alone, more than 11,000 spectators came to watch as nearly 100 artists sawed and chiseled blocks of ice into gallery-worthy masterpieces. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Painstaking Art of Ice Carving," 7 Feb. 2020 At its height, the nonprofit Punkin Chunkin drew up to 100,000 wide-eyed spectators to Sussex County, raising more than $1 million through the years for local charities. USA TODAY, "‘Bag Full of Drugs,’ kiwiberries, retiring bulldog: News from around our 50 states," 6 Feb. 2020 But two years ago, the tournament flirted with 720,000 spectators. Greg Moore, azcentral, "Waste Management Phoenix Open survives all challenges by embracing its rowdy identity," 2 Feb. 2020 According to the Nevada Athletic Commission, McGregor’s loss to Nurmagomedov drew 17,835 spectators and $17.2 million in ticket revenue. Morgan Campbell, New York Times, "Conor McGregor and U.F.C. Attempt a Shift Away from Heel Status," 18 Jan. 2020 Almost 10,000 spectators also turned out for the 10th Annual Surfing Santas event along Florida’s Space Coast. Washington Post, "Surfing Santas ride waves along Florida’s Space Coast," 25 Dec. 2019 An estimated 13,000 spectators attended the game at Nationwide Arena, which capped a four-game event put on by the Scholastic Play By Play Classic. Matt Goul, cleveland, "Bronny James delivers Sierra Canyon 59-56 win vs. St. Vincent-St. Mary, LeBron James’ alma mater: Saturday’s boys basketball roundup," 15 Dec. 2019 A week ago, Minnehaha Academy lost 75-66 to Cretin-Derham Hall before some 3,000 spectators at Hopkins. Charley Walters, Twin Cities, "Charley Walters: Vikings likely must win 2 of last 3 games for playoff berth," 14 Dec. 2019 The complex at the corner of West Muhammed Ali Boulevard and 30th Street will hold more than 4,000 spectators, allowing it to host collegiate and professional track and field meets and other sporting events. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "For 2020, Louisville Urban League leader wants to 'close the wealth gap'," 6 Dec. 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

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spectator.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spectatorship?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=s&file=specta07. Accessed 20 Feb. 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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