Spectacle Spec"ta*cle, n. [F., fr. L. spectaculum, fr. spectare to look at, to behold, v. intens. fr. specere. See {Spy}.] 1. Something exhibited to view; usually, something presented to view as extraordinary, or as unusual and worthy of special notice; a remarkable or noteworthy sight; a show; a pageant; a gazingstock. [1913 Webster]

O, piteous spectacle? O, bloody times! --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. A spy-glass; a looking-glass. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Poverty a spectacle is, as thinketh me, Through which he may his very friends see. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

3. pl. An optical instrument consisting of two lenses set in a light frame, and worn to assist sight, to obviate some defect in the organs of vision, or to shield the eyes from bright light. [1913 Webster]

4. pl. Fig.: An aid to the intellectual sight. [1913 Webster]

Shakespeare . . . needed not the spectacles of books to read nature. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Show; sight; exhibition; representation; pageant. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • spectacle — [ spɛktakl ] n. m. • v. 1200; lat. spectaculum 1 ♦ Ensemble de choses ou de faits qui s offre au regard. ⇒ aspect, tableau. « Des vers que nous inspirait le spectacle de la nature » (Chateaubriand). Au spectacle de : à la vue de. Donner qqch. en… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • spectacle — SPECTACLE. s. m. Representation que l on donne au public pour le divertir. l Opera est un beau spectacle. la comedie est un agreable spectacle. aller aux spectacles. les spectacles sont necessaires pour amuser les peuples. il aime les spectacles …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • spectacle — (n.) mid 14c., specially prepared or arranged display, from O.Fr. spectacle, from L. spectaculum a show, spectacle, from spectare to view, watch, frequentative form of specere to look at, from PIE *spek to observe (see SCOPE (Cf. scope) (1)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • spectacle — public, Spectaculum. Un spectacle qui n est point agreable, Minime gratum spectaculum. Spectacle triste, Miserum spectaculum …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • spectacle — ► NOUN ▪ a visually striking performance or display. ● make a spectacle of oneself Cf. ↑make a spectacle of oneself ORIGIN Latin spectaculum public show , from specere to look …   English terms dictionary

  • spectacle — [spek′tə kəl] n. [OFr < L spectaculum < spectare, to behold, freq. of specere, to see: see SPY] 1. something to look at, esp. some strange or remarkable sight; unusual display 2. a public show or exhibition on a grand scale 3. [pl.] Old… …   English World dictionary

  • spectacle — index phenomenon (manifestation), phenomenon (unusual occurrence), scene, vision (dream) Burton s Legal Thesaurus …   Law dictionary

  • spectacle — [n] something showy; exhibition comedy, curiosity, demonstration, display, drama, event, exposition, extravaganza, marvel, movie, pageant, parade, performance, phenomenon, play, production, representation, scene, show, sight, spectacular, tableau …   New thesaurus

  • spectacle — (spè kta kl ) s. m. 1°   Tout ce qui attire le regard, l attention, arrête la vue. •   Au spectacle sanglant d un ami qu il faut suivre...., CORN. Poly. III, 3. •   Auguste journée où ces deux rois [d Espagne et de France], avec leur cour d une… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • SPECTACLE — s. m. Il se dit de Tout objet ou ensemble d objets qui attire les regards, l attention, qui arrête la vue. Beau spectacle. Triste, horrible spectacle. Spectacle d horreur. Spectacle tragique. Spectacle touchant, instructif. Spectacle magnifique,… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

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