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

past participle

the form of a verb, usually made by adding -ed, used in some grammatical structures such as the passive and the present perfect

Word of the Day

Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

by Kate Woodford,
March 04, 2015
​​​ We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More