• IPA: /ˈspɛktəkl̩/

spectacle (plural spectacles)

  1. An exciting or extraordinary scene, exhibition, performance etc.
    The horse race was a thrilling spectacle.
    • 22 March 2012, Scott Tobias, AV Club The Hunger Games[http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-hunger-games,71293/]
      In movie terms, it suggests Paul Verhoeven in Robocop/Starship Troopers mode, an R-rated bloodbath where the grim spectacle of children murdering each other on television is bread-and-circuses for the age of reality TV, enforced by a totalitarian regime to keep the masses at bay.
  2. An embarrassing or unedifying scene or situation.
    He made a spectacle out of himself.
  3. (usually, in the plural) 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. (figuratively) An aid to the intellectual sight.
    • Poverty a spectacle is, as thinketh me, Through which he may his very friends see.
  5. (obsolete) A spyglass; a looking-glass.
  6. The brille of a snake.
  7. (rail) A frame with different coloured lenses on a semaphore signal through which light from a lamp shines at night, often a part of the signal arm.
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