Definition of amphitheater in English:



  • 1(especially in Greek and Roman architecture) a round or oval building, typically unroofed, with a central space for the presentation of dramatic or sporting events. Tiers of seats for spectators surround the central space.

    • ‘Its Roman amphitheatre seats 5,000 for concerts and the annual film festival.’
    • ‘After Hardwar the valleys would occasionally widen into a great green opera of cultivation terraces, falling away like the tiers of a Greek amphitheatre into the convex bowl of the mountainside.’
    • ‘He took part in gladiatorial contests and also fought wild beasts in the amphitheater.’
    • ‘We Europeans lost our ancient theatre forms even though we have Greek and Roman texts and impressive amphitheatres.’
    • ‘Sources close to the consortium said that once approval is given by City Hall it would be necessary to raise a public subscription to fund the amphitheatre for the ring events.’
    • ‘Nearby is a vast Roman amphitheatre for gladiatorial conflicts, mock sea-battles, and the killing of wild animals captured in nearby Africa.’
    • ‘The elliptical amphitheatre could have seated between 4,500 and 9,000 spectators.’
    • ‘We saw ancient Greek temples, Roman amphitheatres and walled medieval cities.’
    • ‘He saw thousands of spectators upon the natural terraces, a stage and entertainment similar to the grand amphitheatre at the Hollywood Bowl in the USA.’
    • ‘These include a palisaded enclosure, a possible pagan temple, and what appears to be part of a Roman amphitheatre.’
    • ‘Circuses have come a long way, since they gained popularity during the ancient Roman Empire, when amphitheatres were the only source of entertainment to citizens.’
    • ‘Many Roman traditions and institutions also disappeared or simply became redundant in the process, not least the arenas and amphitheatres for the circuses and games once supported by the state and municipal authorities.’
    • ‘Vomitoria - the term for entrances leading to the tiers of seats in a Roman amphitheatre - stand on either side of the stage.’
    • ‘Pompeii was a walled town with an amphitheatre, forum, basilica, several public baths, two theatres, and at least nine temples.’
    • ‘What did disappear for good were those public spaces that had played such an important role in the civic life of a Roman city: forum, baths, circus, theatres, amphitheatres, and, above all, places of pagan cult.’
    • ‘Eventually there were well over 250 amphitheatres in the Roman empire - so it is no surprise that the amphitheatre and its associated shows are the quintessential symbols of Roman culture.’
    • ‘Fourth, look at the Romans' idea of a general get-together - those amphitheatres where you could enjoy watching animals being tormented and humans murdered.’
    • ‘The main volume is based on a Greek amphitheatre with steeply raked seating that offers good sight and sound lines.’
    • ‘A life-size bronze arm of a Roman statue has been excavated from a rubbish-filled ditch or watercourse in the City of London, just south of the Roman amphitheatre.’
    • ‘The Colosseum was the greatest building in Ancient Rome but much smaller amphitheatres were built in Roman Britain and gladiatorial fights may have occurred in these.’
    1. 1.1A sloping, semicircular seating gallery.
      ‘I was permitted to attend a lecture in the amphitheater of the hospital’
      • ‘A drop-dead-gorgeous crowd was tangoing away in a makeshift, open-air amphitheater.’
      • ‘There is an auditorium on the inside and the amphitheatre is at a right angle outside.’
      • ‘Introductory courses are delivered in the form of lectures and are generally held in amphitheatres with 600-800 places.’
      • ‘Dining is a fun experience here, because the hotel conducts theme dining almost every night at the restaurant, amphitheater or pool grill.’
      • ‘Top executives first briefed a packed amphitheater of reporters and then sent them on a three-hour tour of its plants, past swirling beakers, giant fermentation vats and filters.’
      • ‘The money will go towards the school's planned amphitheatre and other drama activities.’
      • ‘Scheduled to perform at an international women's musical performance in Soeterijn, the museum's amphitheater, she barely had time to sit down for an interview, let alone grab a sandwich.’
      • ‘Also, an actor in an amphitheatre is effectively surrounded on all sides by spectators and may choose to keep moving so that everyone has a chance to see him.’
      • ‘At the same time, the first great modern neuroanatomists were doing forbidden human dissections at the new, secret amphitheater at the University of Padua medical school.’
      • ‘It ended, in fact, on the day of graduation for the Fall term, and forced the ceremonies from the outdoor amphitheater with scenic backdrop into the cafeteria, which had memories of its own.’
      • ‘It began when he attended an anatomy lecture in an amphitheater - presumably in the building now called Logan Hall - and made the mistake of sitting in a row traditionally reserved for upperclassmen.’
      • ‘In the center of town was a stage and amphitheater which last night held the town's large orchestra and a glee club.’
      • ‘The answer is, take him from the lecture-room, take him from the amphitheatre - put him in the out-patient department - put him in the wards.’
      • ‘The self-sufficient campus has a post office, a farm, athletic fields, chapel and amphitheater.’
      • ‘This ultramodern amphitheater accommodates more than 9,000 fans in oversized, cushioned seating.’
      • ‘Most of his productions evolve out of workshops he conducts, and are performed first in his amphitheatre for a select audience.’
      • ‘It chronicled her designs for city plazas that feature fountains and tiled walkways; for arenas and semi-circular amphitheaters in public parks; and for benches, monoliths, pyramids, pools and private bathhouses.’
      • ‘The congress venue was a big, boxshaped convention centre by the sea known as the Kursaal, the kernel of which is a large amphitheatre used by symphony orchestras.’
      • ‘In a sense, the problem of the New Globe is that it wants to try and cover traditions that changed over a period of forty two years and that were also different from playhouse to playhouse, at least between amphitheatres and hall playhouses.’
      • ‘So they moved into the stage left dressing room off of the outdoor amphitheatre.’
      playhouse, auditorium, amphitheatre, hippodrome, coliseum
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Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek amphitheatron, from amphi on both sides + theatron (see theater).