- anything presented to the sight or view, especially something of a striking or impressive kind: The stars make a fine spectacle tonight.
- a public show or display, especially on a large scale: The coronation was a lavish spectacle.
- spectacles. eyeglasses, especially with pieces passing over or around the ears for holding them in place.
- Often spectacles.
- something resembling spectacles in shape or function.
- any of various devices suggesting spectacles, as one attached to a semaphore to display lights or different colors by colored glass.
- Obsolete. a spyglass.
- make a spectacle of oneself, to call attention to one's unseemly behavior; behave foolishly or badly in public: They tell me I made a spectacle of myself at the party last night.
Origin of spectacle
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for spectacle
Had they been in the West Bank, the spectacle would hardly have attracted notice.Intifada 3.0: Growing Unrest and a Plot to Kill an Israeli Minister
November 21, 2014
The plot of the film runs secondary to the spectacle, and is denser than a TED conference.‘Interstellar’ Is Wildly Ambitious, Very Flawed, and Absolutely Worth Seeing
November 7, 2014
The resurrected vampire graves in particular have created quite a spectacle.Bulgaria’s Vampire Graveyards
October 15, 2014
But the spectacle playing out on Pennsylvania is about more than one condemned inmate.Pennsylvania’s Lethal Injection Fiasco
September 18, 2014
“I am not interested in just creating a spectacle of myself,” she says.Brooklynite Goes Off Her Meds—for Art
July 23, 2014
The spectacle as night fell was strange, ominous, but not unpicturesque.
It is a spectacle that may inspire the philosopher no less than the artist.
There was a hideous fascination in this spectacle stretched before us.In the Valley
He saw himself as he was—or nearly—and the spectacle did not please him.The Incomplete Amorist
They did not talk much; there was a silencing awe in the spectacle.The Greater Inclination
- a public display or performance, esp a showy or ceremonial one
- a thing or person seen, esp an unusual or ridiculous onehe makes a spectacle of himself
- a strange or interesting object or phenomenon
- (modifier) of or relating to spectaclesa spectacle case
Word Origin and History for spectacle
mid-14c., "specially prepared or arranged display," from Old French spectacle, from Latin spectaculum "a show, spectacle," from spectare "to view, watch," frequentative form of specere "to look at," from PIE *spek- "to observe" (see scope (n.1)).