[ spek-tey-ter, spek-tey- ]
/ ˈspɛk teɪ tər, spɛkˈteɪ- /


a person who looks on or watches; onlooker; observer.
a person who is present at and views a spectacle, display, or the like; member of an audience.
Also called spectator shoe. a white shoe with a perforated wing tip and back trim, traditionally of dark brown, dark blue, or black but sometimes of a lighter color.

Origin of spectator

1580–90; < Latin spectātor, equivalent to spectā(re), frequentative of specere to look, regard + -tor -tor
Related formsspec·ta·to·ri·al [spek-tuh-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /ˌspɛk təˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/, adjective

Definition for spectator (2 of 2)

Spectator, The


a weekly periodical (1711–12, 1714) issued by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spectator

British Dictionary definitions for spectator


/ (spɛkˈteɪtə) /


a person viewing anything; onlooker; observer

Word Origin for spectator

C16: from Latin, from spectāre to watch; see spectacle
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 spectator



1580s, from Latin spectator "viewer, watcher," from past participle stem of spectare "to view, watch" (see spectacle). Spectator sport is attested from 1943.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper