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amphitheater

or am·phi·the·a·tre

[am-fuh-thee-uh-ter, -theeuh-ter]
See more synonyms for amphitheater on Thesaurus.com
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.
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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

Related Words for amphitheatre

square, stadium, park, gymnasium, field, ring, stage, gym, rink, diamond, course, coliseum, circus, bowl, ice, platform, hippodrome, pit, ground, gridiron

Examples from the Web for amphitheatre

Historical Examples of amphitheatre

  • It is the chief town of Somersetshire, and is surrounded by an amphitheatre of hills.

    England, Picturesque and Descriptive

    Joel Cook

  • The amphitheatre of hills is terraced with olive-orchards and vineyards.

  • After dinner I dressed and took a place in the amphitheatre of the theatre.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • On the day appointed for their execution, they were led to the amphitheatre.

  • We all sat in a row, on steps, as in an amphitheatre, but in straight lines.

    Memoirs

    Charles Godfrey Leland


British Dictionary definitions for amphitheatre

amphitheatre

US amphitheater

noun
  1. a building, usually circular or oval, in which tiers of seats rise from a central open arena, as in those of ancient Rome
  2. a place where contests are held; arena
  3. any level circular area of ground surrounded by higher ground
    1. the first tier of seats in the gallery of a theatre
    2. any similarly designated seating area in a theatre
  4. a lecture room in which seats are tiered away from a central area
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Derived Formsamphitheatric (ˌæmfɪθɪˈætrɪk) or amphitheatrical, adjectiveamphitheatrically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for amphitheatre

n.

chiefly British English spelling of amphitheater. See -er.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper