- 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 spectacles
And suicide is just one of the many shocking 4chan spectacles, which range from bullying to stripping to killing pets on camera.More Shocking Than Online Suicides Are the Crowds Who Clamor to Watch
December 10, 2013
Of course, other recent royal pageants and spectacles have been something of a mixed bag, economically speaking.The Royal Baby Is Already Making Britain Better
July 22, 2013
Other young men play sports and watch them; Tamim simply bought the spectacles and events themselves.Qatar’s Succession Drama
June 25, 2013
These spectacles are planned with aching attention to detail.Disorder of the Garter
June 14, 2012
As he peers over his spectacles, Leveson is a big predatory cat that beguiles as he smiles.Curtains for Murdoch
April 23, 2012
I fancied her ladyship in spectacles, with little side curls.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
The teacher sunk into a chair, and put his spectacles on his nose.Rico and Wiseli
The other turned his spectacles upon Ossipon like a pair of searchlights.The Secret Agent
Now I was provided with the book, I could not read for want of spectacles.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
Bonnet, false front, and spectacles were tossed in a tumultuous pile.Tiverton Tales
- a pair of glasses for correcting defective visionOften (informal) shortened to: specs
- pair of spectacles cricket a score of 0 in each innings of a match
- 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 spectacles
"glass lenses to help a person's sight," early 15c., from plural of 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)).