Definition of spectator in English:



  • A person who watches at a show, game, or other event.

    • ‘The spectators had been watching the game, unaware of the crown forces outside the park.’
    • ‘It was as if my trip had become a movie and I was a spectator watching.’
    • ‘She was a spectator, a spectator watching her life break apart before her eyes.’
    • ‘I watched them like a spectator at a tennis match as the ball went from one court to the other.’
    • ‘This is just as much a game for spectators as it is for the person actually playing it.’
    • ‘In this sense the spectator is doubly positioned as an onlooker outside the text.’
    • ‘Reports say that thousands of eager spectators are descending on the town in anticipation of the event.’
    • ‘Most of the spectators were gathered watching his game, and I was glad that they could not see the dilemma I was in.’
    • ‘Quite a few local enthusiasts and spectators enjoy this event and let's hope the sun shines that day.’
    • ‘I do not consider that the enjoyment of the game by players or spectators would be lessened.’
    • ‘She concedes, though, that her interest in football is as much about the spectators as about the game itself.’
    • ‘He took her arm, leading her back to the tape, where curious spectators watched.’
    • ‘These have every appearance of being intended for the use of spectators watching sporting events.’
    • ‘The thousands of spectators lining the fairway fell into an awkward silence, all eyes on me.’
    • ‘For the first time in years I attended a championship match not as a reporter but as a spectator.’
    • ‘How long can we remain as informed spectators on the sideline watching such tragedy unfold before our eyes?’
    • ‘The possibility also exists that more spectators will be outside the gates demonstrating.’
    • ‘With both teams willing to play fast open rugby, spectators were treated to a great game.’
    • ‘The driving snow meant that conditions were far from ideal, but a fiery game warmed players and spectators alike.’
    • ‘He could not contain disappointment that there were no spectators at the event.’
    onlooker, watcher, looker-on, fly on the wall, viewer, observer, witness, eyewitness, bystander, non-participant, sightseer
    commentator, reporter, monitor, blogger
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: from French spectateur or Latin spectator, from spectare gaze at, observe (see spectacle).