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amphitheater

or am·phi·the·a·tre

[am-fuh-thee-uh-ter, -theeuh-ter]
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noun
  1. an oval or round building with tiers of seats around a central open area, as those used in ancient Rome for gladiatorial contests.
  2. any similar place for public contests, games, performances, exhibitions, etc.; an arena, stadium, or auditorium.
  3. a room having tiers of seats arranged around a central area, in which students and other observers can view surgery, hear lectures, etc.
  4. British.
    1. the first section of seats in the gallery of a theater.
    2. a designated section of seats in any part of a theater.
  5. a level area of oval or circular shape surrounded by rising ground.

Origin of amphitheater

1540–50; < Latin amphitheātrum < Greek amphithéātron. See amphi-, theater
Related formsam·phi·the·at·ric [am-fuh-thee-a-trik] /ˌæm fə θiˈæ trɪk/, am·phi·the·at·ri·cal, adjectiveam·phi·the·at·ri·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for amphitheater

Historical Examples


Word Origin and History for amphitheater

n.

late 14c., from Latin amphitheatrum, from Greek amphitheatron "double theater, amphitheater," neuter of amphitheatros "with spectators all around," from amphi- "on both sides" (see amphi-) + theatron "theater" (see theater). Classical theaters were semi-circles, thus two together made an amphi-theater.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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