Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of the nature of a spectacle; impressive or sensational.
  • noun Something that is spectacular, as an elaborate show or display.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to or of the nature of a show or spectacle; marked or characterized by great display: as, a spectacular drama.
  • Pertaining to spectacles or glasses for assisting vision.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to a shows; of the nature of a show.
  • adjective Adapted to excite wonder and admiration by a display of pomp or of scenic effects
  • adjective Pertaining to spectacles, or glasses for the eyes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Amazing or worthy of special notice
  • adjective dated Related to, or having the character of, a spectacle or entertainment
  • adjective Relating to spectacles, or glasses for the eyes.
  • noun A spectacular display.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective sensational in appearance or thrilling in effect
  • adjective characteristic of spectacles or drama
  • adjective having a quality that thrusts itself into attention
  • noun a lavishly produced performance

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

Examples

  • Another of what she calls her "spectacular failures" was a recent project for the Louvre in Paris.

    The Saturday interview: architect Amanda Levete

  • The U.S. military says that while the insurgent groups like al Qaeda are on the run, they have not lost their capacity to not only run more detention centers or torture centers like this one to keep the local populations in check, but also to stage what they call spectacular attacks to bring more public attention to their cause.

    CNN Transcript Dec 20, 2007

  • ARENA: Well, I'll tell you that right now, the stance of the intelligence community is one of a lot of concern, only because the intelligence continues to suggest that al Qaeda is planning what they call a spectacular attack on U.S. soil.

    CNN Transcript Oct 29, 2004

  • "The word 'spectacular' would be an understatement," one said.

    News - latimes.com

  • "The word 'spectacular' would be an understatement," one said.

    News - latimes.com

  • "We have leads," Baroin told Europe 1 radio, saying that what he called a "spectacular" attack was "probably the first time" that the French government's computer system had been hit on this scale.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • "We have leads," Baroin told Europe 1 radio, saying that what he called a "spectacular" attack was "probably the first time" that the French government's computer system had been hit on this scale.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • In this instance, the word "spectacular" is not an exaggeration.

    The Canadian Mineral Industry

  • Besides losing both world wars in spectacular fashion, near total destruction in the thirty years war, being Napoleons personal chess board, and spending half of this past century partitioned and garrisoned by the competing superpowers, Germany has spent most of its history as a collection of small principalities under varying degrees of rule by Hapsburgs.

    Matthew Yglesias » 18th Century Polish Strategic Dilemmas

  • Too bad because those trips were in spectacular country.

    when you read a question and then go to answer it, do you also look at the other peoples profiles that answer...and if so do you

Comments

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  • Jenna's wedding was 'spectacular'

    May 12, 2008

  • "Thank God for spectacular confusion says the poet to the scientist. May we all be liberated from certainty and its dark child: single vision. Let dichotomies flower everywhere and always." - Bill Holm, Eccentric Islands: Travels Real and Imaginary.

    November 3, 2009

  • I'm sure the scientist would agree, perhaps in less florid language.

    November 4, 2009

  • When you use extreme adjectives, make sure you also add emphasis to your pronunciation:

    The hiking was spectacular!

    October 12, 2012