Definition of spectate in US English:



[no object]
  • Be a spectator, especially at a sporting event.

    ‘an entire defense starts to spectate like fans in the stands’
    • ‘Undeterred, my husband joined our friends for a skating session, while I stood on the raised platform round the edge with my three year old to spectate.’
    • ‘Jaguar market research reveals that compared to owners of saloon cars, estate car drivers are more likely to participate in sports such as skiing, cycling and windsurfing, than they are to spectate.’
    • ‘About his sporting switch Scott said: ‘I've always been into motor-cycling but I never competed, I just spectated until two years ago.’’
    • ‘If you still don't know what I mean, have a look at one of the games listed on this site; play it, and find out what it is like to interact rather than just to spectate.’
    • ‘We were so full, in fact, that we were only able to spectate as those brave enough swept elegantly (or not so, in some cases) round the dance floor to the soft sounds of the hotel's resident band.’
    • ‘Then still at school, Noel was in Japan spectating four years ago, but will now be performing for the crowds.’
    • ‘All around, the crowds were milling, all ages, some going to take part, most spectating.’
    • ‘The three-day event sounds packed with chances to shop, have a go, or just spectate while the professionals show you how it's done.’
    • ‘We spectated as the traffic merged uneasily and shifted itself past the complex intersection at midday.’
    • ‘I was a basketball player before I took up rugby and I never really paid attention to the games, and I was soon too busy playing to spectate.’
    • ‘Eyes turned to the archery range just outside the castle to view the shooters and spectate upon their competition.’
    • ‘For those who would rather spectate, the veranda is the perfect spot.’
    • ‘As the party began, it was difficult to tell who was performing and who was spectating.’
    • ‘Thus we are left to wonder who exactly is spectating here.’
    • ‘Rules were strict, games were timed and each player had to write down their moves, while parents were not allowed to spectate during the early minutes of the match, so as not to put off the players.’
    • ‘Women were banned from competing and spectating at the original Games, and shot put is barely 100 years old, so the direct linkage with the ancient past was tenuous.’
    • ‘The outside world seems content just to spectate.’
    • ‘But in comedy you cannot be allowed to sit back and spectate.’
    • ‘Barely anyone shows up to spectate outside of those tagging along with the bunch.’
    • ‘But, interestingly, a total of 265,000 spectated at these two games.’


Early 18th century: back-formation from spectator.