Definition of spectator in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /spɛkˈteɪtə/


A person who watches at a show, game, or other event: around fifteen thousand spectators came to watch the thrills and spills
More example sentences
  • These have every appearance of being intended for the use of spectators watching sporting events.
  • She was a spectator, a spectator watching her life break apart before her eyes.
  • Most of the spectators were gathered watching his game, and I was glad that they could not see the dilemma I was in.
onlooker, watcher, looker-on, fly on the wall, viewer, observer, witness, eyewitness, bystander, non-participant, sightseer;
commentator, reporter, monitor, blogger
informal rubberneck
literary beholder



Pronunciation: /spɛktəˈtɔːrɪəl/
Example sentences
  • We must question, however, the actual usefulness of such a characterization of spectatorial submission to the visual image of film.
  • The dancers no longer performed for the spectatorial look but rather, engaged with the crowd in immediate exchange.
  • He takes a protective but also frankly spectatorial interest in the lives of his tenants, following their dramas with the fascination of a soap opera addict.


Example sentences
  • Does ‘our culture of spectatorship neutralise the moral force of photographs of atrocities’?
  • This form of spectatorship contrasts sharply with the interactive performances found in rural villages where most of these maskers normally appear.
  • Within the context of this film, which wilfully denies many of the conventional pleasures of cinema spectatorship, such moments are genuinely transcendent.


Late 16th century: from French spectateur or Latin spectator, from spectare 'gaze at, observe' (see spectacle).

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.