Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “spectacle”

See all translations

spectacle

noun uk   /ˈspek.tɪ.kl̩/ us  

spectacle noun (UNUSUAL EVENT)

[C] an unusual or unexpected event or situation that attracts attention, interest, or disapproval: It was a strange spectacle to see the two former enemies shaking hands and slapping each other on the back. We witnessed the extraordinary spectacle of an old lady climbing a tree to rescue her cat.

spectacle noun (PUBLIC EVENT)

[C or U] a public event or show that is exciting to watch; an exciting appearance: The carnival was a magnificent spectacle. The television show was mere spectacle (= had an exciting appearance, but little value).

spectacle noun (GLASSES)

spectacles [plural] ( informal specs ) old-fashioned glasses: a pair of spectacles steel-rimmed spectacles
spectacle
adjective [before noun] uk   /-kl̩/ us  
a spectacle case
(Definition of spectacle from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of spectacle?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “spectacle” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

comma

the symbol , used in writing to separate parts of a sentence showing a slight pause, or to separate the single things in a list

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

showrooming noun

February 23, 2015
the activity of examining a product in a physical store and then making the purchase with an online retailer Amazon’s new smartphone is specifically designed to make showrooming fast and easy.

Read More