2 definitions found
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:
Spectacle \Spec"ta*cle\, noun [F., fr. L. spectaculum, fr.
spectare to look at, to behold, v. intens. fr. specere. See
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.
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
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.
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
1: something or someone seen (especially a notable or unusual
sight); "the tragic spectacle of cripples trying to escape"
2: an elaborate and remarkable display on a lavish scale
3: a blunder that makes you look ridiculous; used in the phrase
'make a spectacle of' yourself