spectacle

noun
spec·​ta·​cle | \ ˈspek-ti-kəl How to pronounce spectacle (audio) also -ˌti-kəl \

Definition of spectacle

1a : something exhibited to view as unusual, notable, or entertaining especially : an eye-catching or dramatic public display
b : an object of curiosity or contempt made a spectacle of herself
2 spectacles\ ˈspek-​ti-​kəlz How to pronounce spectacle (audio) also  -​ˌti-​kəlz \ plural : a device used to correct defects of vision : glasses
3 : something (such as natural markings on an animal) suggesting a pair of glasses

Examples of spectacle in a Sentence

He peered through his spectacles. the multimedia spectacles that have become established parts of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympic Games
Recent Examples on the Web Some visitors, happily aware that there’s a flaneur’s funhouse—the visual onslaught of SoHo—just beyond the doors of the Drawing Center, will be primed to experience the show as one more twist in the contemporary spectacle. Jed Perl, The New York Review of Books, 3 Aug. 2022 Nine years of saving Central City while taking audiences on an emotional journey full of heart, humor and spectacle. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Aug. 2022 Nine years of saving Central City while taking audiences on an emotional journey full of heart, humor, and spectacle. Charmaine Patterson, PEOPLE.com, 1 Aug. 2022 Although the audience is going to see the spectacle viewpoint. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 1 Aug. 2022 Nine years of saving Central City while taking audiences on an emotional journey full of heart, humor, and spectacle. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 1 Aug. 2022 The fans were an important part of why the spectacle felt so big and all-encompassing. Charles Kang, Billboard, 30 July 2022 Next month, on August 28, the MTV Video Music Awards—better known as the VMAs—will return with all the showstopping spectacle the ceremony is known for. Liam Hess, Vogue, 26 July 2022 The film is an imaginative, one-location horror outing that’s more high-concept than high-spectacle, but great central performances and surprises give it just enough variety to elevate it beyond its meager setting. Jeff Ewing, Forbes, 24 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spectacle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of spectacle

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for spectacle

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin spectaculum, from spectare to watch, frequentative of specere to look, look at — more at spy

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Time Traveler for spectacle

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

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Dictionary Entries Near spectacle

spectable

spectacle

spectacle clew

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Statistics for spectacle

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spectacle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spectacle. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for spectacle

spectacle

noun
spec·​ta·​cle | \ ˈspek-ti-kəl How to pronounce spectacle (audio) \

Kids Definition of spectacle

1 : an unusual or impressive public display (as a big parade)
2 spectacles plural : glass sense 3
3 : an object of curiosity or contempt Don't make a spectacle of yourself!

More from Merriam-Webster on spectacle

Nglish: Translation of spectacle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spectacle for Arabic Speakers

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