From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Latin spectaculum (a sight, show) + -ar.



spectacular (comparative more spectacular, superlative most spectacular)

  1. Amazing or worthy of special notice.
    The parachutists were spectacular.
    • 1951 August, P. W. Gentry, “Cliff Railways”, in Railway Magazine, page 514:
      A branch of rail transport that seems to been rather neglected by historians is that concerned with cliff railways, of which a fair number exist in Great Britain. This is probably because these lines are overshadowed by the more spectacular funicular railways in Switzerland and other mountainous regions; perhaps, too, because of the general habit of referring to them as "cliff lifts," which tends to associate them with the vertical indoor type.
  2. (dated) Related to, or having the character of, a spectacle or entertainment.
    the merely spectacular
    • 1681, George Hickes, A Sermon Preached before the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of London:
      The like clamour, and outcry, the Rabble of the unbelieving Jews and Gentiles made againſt Polycarp Biſhop of Smyrna, at the time of his Martyrdom. crying out againſt him to the Governour, that he ſhould caſt him to the Lyons, and when he anſwered them he could not, becauſe the Spectacular ſports were concluded, then they cry’d out, Burn him, burn him, juſt as the Jews cryed out againſt Chriſt to Pilate, Crucify him, crucify him.
    • 1910 August 21, Andre Tridon, “Europe Flirts with Argentina to Win Her Rich Trade”, in The New York Times[1]:
      Those apparently insignificant events which really make history are seldom featured in the press; the merely spectacular too frequently crowds the essential out of the public sheets.
    • 2015, Jane Ward, Not Gay, New York University Press, →ISBN, page 70:
      One of the more striking facets of these accounts of the Hell's Angels is the extent to which the defiant homosexual behavior they describe—especially the spectacular same-sex kissing—so closely mirrors the behavior of young women in the early twenty-first century.
  3. Relating to spectacles, or glasses for the eyes.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]


spectacular (plural spectaculars)

  1. A spectacular display.
    • 16 October 2010, “Under the volcano”, in The Economist:
      Though business has more or less held up so far, a series of drug-related spectaculars sparked an exodus of the city's upper class this summer.
  2. (advertising) A pop-up (folded paper element) in material sent by postal mail.
    • 1966, Hanley Norins, The Compleat Copywriter:
      Here are a few examples of "spectaculars," or three-dimensional pieces, including those which have won awards []



Borrowed from French spectaculaire.


spectacular m or n (feminine singular spectaculară, masculine plural spectaculari, feminine and neuter plural spectaculare)

  1. spectacular