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spectacle Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun something or someone seen (especially a notable or unusual sight)
    • the tragic spectacle of cripples trying to escape
  2. noun an elaborate and remarkable display on a lavish scale
  3. noun a blunder that makes you look ridiculous; used in the phrase `make a spectacle of' yourself

Spec"ta*cle noun
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.
    O, piteous spectacle? O, bloody times! Shak.
  2. A spy-glass; a looking-glass. Obs.
    Poverty a spectacle is, as thinketh me, Through which he may his very friends see. Chaucer.
  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.
  4. pl. Fig.: An aid to the intellectual sight.
    Shakespeare . . . needed not the spectacles of books to read nature. Dryden.
    Syn. -- Show; sight; exhibition; representation; pageant.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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