am·​phi·​the·​ater | \ ˈam(p)-fə-ˌthē(-ə)-tər How to pronounce amphitheater (audio) also ˈam-pə-ˌthē- \

Definition of amphitheater

1 : an oval or circular building with rising tiers of seats ranged about an open space and used in ancient Rome especially for contests and spectacles
2a : a very large auditorium
b : a room with a gallery from which doctors and students may observe surgical operations
c : a rising gallery in a modern theater
d : a flat or gently sloping area surrounded by abrupt slopes
3 : a place of public entertainment (as for games or concerts)

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Other Words from amphitheater

amphitheatric \ ˌam(p)-​fə-​thē-​ˈa-​trik How to pronounce amphitheater (audio) also  ˌam-​pə-​thē-​ \ or amphitheatrical \ ˌam(p)-​fə-​thē-​ˈa-​tri-​kəl How to pronounce amphitheater (audio) also  ˌam-​pə-​thē-​ \ adjective
amphitheatrically \ ˌam(p)-​fə-​thē-​ˈa-​tri-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce amphitheater (audio) also  ˌam-​pə-​thē-​ \ adverb

Synonyms for amphitheater


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Examples of amphitheater in a Sentence

the conference attendees crowded into the amphitheater for the keynote address
Recent Examples on the Web Indoor amphitheater or arena restrooms might line up numerous stalls in a row -- the opposite of social-distancing. Steve Knopper, Billboard, 6 Oct. 2021 Later, Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz led an amphitheater-wide pizza chant in his honor, while waving a flag that read pizza. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 Sep. 2021 The location includes four nine-hole putt-putt courses, private event space and a terrace overlooking Grandscape’s outdoor amphitheater. Teri Webster, Dallas News, 23 Sep. 2021 Grammy-winning Latin pop star Gloria Estefan made a video call to the cast that was broadcast on a large television in the amphitheater’s backstage green room. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Sep. 2021 Castelli plans to include a possible water feature and outdoor amphitheater in the vicinity, along with walking trails connecting to nearby Cleveland Metroparks Big Creek Reservation. Beth Mlady, cleveland, 14 Aug. 2021 Noodle Bar and the Dubliner, a few doors down from the amphitheater. Ben Crandell,, 30 Sep. 2021 With concertgoers lining up as early in the day for the 1 p.m. festival start, admission to the 30,000-capacity amphitheater went smoothly. Thom Duffy, Billboard, 26 Sep. 2021 The amphitheater has a sunken stage with grassy, ledged seating. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, 10 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amphitheater.' 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 amphitheater

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for amphitheater

Middle English amphitheatre, borrowed from Latin amphitheātrum, borrowed from Greek amphithéātron, noun derivative from neuter of amphithéātros "(of a stadium) having seats for spectators all around," from amphi- amphi- + -theātros, derivative of théātron "place for viewing a drama, theater entry 1"

Note: The term is also used in isolated, partially naturalized Old English attestations, as anfiteatrum and anfiteatra.

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The first known use of amphitheater was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Amphitheater.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for amphitheater



English Language Learners Definition of amphitheater

: a large building with seats rising in curved rows around an open space on which games and plays take place
: an area of level ground surrounded by hills


am·​phi·​the·​ater | \ ˈam-fə-ˌthē-ə-tər How to pronounce amphitheater (audio) \

Kids Definition of amphitheater

: an arena with seats rising in curved rows around an open space

More from Merriam-Webster on amphitheater

Nglish: Translation of amphitheater for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of amphitheater for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about amphitheater


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