Meaning of “spectacle” in the English Dictionary

"spectacle" in British English

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uk /ˈspek.tə.kəl/ us /ˈspek.tə.kəl/

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


a pair of spectacles
steel-rimmed spectacles
adjective [ before noun ] uk /ˈspek.tə.kəl/ us /ˈspek.tə.kəl/

a spectacle case

(Definition of “spectacle” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"spectacle" in American English

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spectaclenoun [ C ]

us /ˈspek·tə·kəl/

spectacle noun [ C ] (UNUSUAL EVENT)

an unusual or unexpected event or situation that attracts attention:

an amazing/terrible spectacle
The trial became a public spectacle.
She made a spectacle of herself (= behaved in a way that attracted attention and made her look ridiculous).

spectacle noun [ C ] (PUBLIC SHOW)

a large public event or show:

The fireworks were a magnificent spectacle.

(Definition of “spectacle” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)