Definition of spectacle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈspɛktək(ə)l/


1A visually striking performance or display: the acrobatic feats make a good spectacle [mass noun]: the show is pure spectacle
More example sentences
  • Heather Taylor and Amy Chu produced and performed in the spectacle.
  • A handful of other artists staged theatrical public spectacles, performances grounded in the sociologies of place and personality.
  • Everywhere amazing spectacles were being performed, as crowds gathered and applauded the snake charmers, coal-walkers, and fire-eaters.
display, show, performance, presentation, exhibition, pageant, parade, extravaganza
1.1An event or scene regarded in terms of its visual impact: the spectacle of a city’s mass grief
More example sentences
  • But the unseemly scenes provided an entertaining spectacle for those drinking in the evening sun outside the pub.
  • The two of them whooped and hollered some more; their wives sighed at the spectacle and regarded each other with love.
  • It would be an odd spectacle, for two friends of opposite sex parading through the town on horses with no saddle.
sight, vision, view, scene, prospect, vista, outlook, picture


make a spectacle of oneself

Draw attention to oneself by behaving in a ridiculous way in public: she was making a spectacle of herself with her childish outburst
More example sentences
  • It could be us falling over and making a spectacle of ourselves in public.
  • I was shy and preferred to not make a spectacle of myself in public places.
  • I would like to try novel-writing, but I don't think I've got the confidence not to make a spectacle of myself.
exhibition, laughing stock, fool, curiosity


Middle English: via Old French from Latin spectaculum 'public show', from spectare, frequentative of specere 'to look'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: spec|tacle

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