- to participate as a spectator, as at a horse race.
Origin of spectate
First recorded in 1700–10; back formation from spectator
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- (intr) to be a spectator, esp at a sporting event; watch
Word Origin for spectate
C20: back formation from spectator
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
1929, back-formation from spectator. Related: Spectated; spectating.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper