One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person who is a spectator rather than a participant in a situation.
onlooker, watcher, fly on the wall, viewer, observer, witness, eyewitness, bystander, non-participant, sightseerView synonyms
- ‘It appears to me, indeed, that, while an air of artificiality is lent to a tale of complex and sophisticated people which the novelist causes to be guessed at and interpreted by any mere looker-on, there need be no such drawback if the looker-on is sophisticated, and the people he interprets are simple.’
- ‘Now, I would expect that these lookers-on pay their taxes on time, mow their lawns, put out the garbage, and obey the law.’
- ‘I asked an astute hockey observer about the player, whom even a casual looker-on like me recognizes as a skilled player, himself dogged by clutchers and grabbers.’
- ‘But the aspect of his appearance on this particular morning that most interested the lookers-on was not the coat, but rather the glint of gold that caught the light on his breast.’
- ‘But, as local art students and lookers-on alike asked, did these free thinking experiments beyond the studio space constitute art?’
- ‘The display of lighting may not have been to the taste of some modern lookers-on, but it was certainly in keeping with the taste of the original medieval architects.’
- ‘The truly native products of whiskey and stout were also represented, drawing a faint cheer from the lookers-on.’
- ‘Although I furnished the 'hall' I could only be a 'looker on', at the happy function of 'dancing in' my new house!’
- ‘In A Really Good Brown Girl, the presence of lookers-on, scrutinizing, judging, labelling, is constant.’
- ‘They operated so close to the lookers-on, we responded viscerally to their feats.’
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