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

Moon is expected to attend a mass games spectacle later in the day, which an estimated 150,000 spectators plan to attend. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Trump calls North Korea’s announcement to dismantle main nuke site if US takes steps too ‘very exciting’," 19 Sep. 2018 And while the most adverse effects are on the players, the scorching weather also affects spectators. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "See Inside the Exclusive American Express Lounge at the US Open," 30 Aug. 2018 High-level battles regularly have 20,000 or more virtual spectators. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Supercell is launching the Clash Royale League next week," 17 Aug. 2018 Ultimately, the two slams proved too much for Seattle to overcome as the Astros held on for a 10-6 victory in front of 30,969 spectators at T-Mobile Park. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Mariners keep home run streak alive but two Houston grand slams too much to overcome," 13 Apr. 2019 The route takes departing planes along a tight corridor to the east of LaGuardia and then north, sparing players and spectators at Arthur Ashe Stadium the roar of jet engines. Paul Berger, WSJ, "Lawmaker Urges LaGuardia Flight Path Changes," 21 Aug. 2018 The club head hit his foot, broke and flew into the crowd, striking a spectator in the head. Fox News, "'So much blood' after angry golfer's club flies into crowd," 19 Aug. 2018 Two men died and five other people were injured after a large tree branch fell on spectators during a fireworks display in western Illinois late Tuesday. BostonGlobe.com, "Americans celebrate nation’s birthday, lament divisions," 4 July 2018 Attendance in the third season of the Crimean Premier League varied from about 3,500 spectators at one match to 300 at others. Jeré Longman, New York Times, "Stuck in Soccer Limbo, in the Shadow of the World Cup," 2 July 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

6 May 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).


highly pertinent or appropriate

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