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[am-fuh-thee-uh-ter, -theeuh-ter] /ˈæm fəˌθi ə tər, -ˌθiə tər/
an oval or round building with tiers of seats around a central open area, as those used in ancient Rome for gladiatorial contests.
any similar place for public contests, games, performances, exhibitions, etc.; an arena, stadium, or auditorium.
a room having tiers of seats arranged around a central area, in which students and other observers can view surgery, hear lectures, etc.
  1. the first section of seats in the gallery of a theater.
  2. a designated section of seats in any part of a theater.
a level area of oval or circular shape surrounded by rising ground.
Origin of amphitheater
1540-50; < Latin amphitheātrum < Greek amphithéātron. See amphi-, theater
Related forms
[am-fuh-thee-a-trik] /ˌæm fə θiˈæ trɪk/ (Show IPA),
amphitheatrical, adjective
amphitheatrically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for amphitheater
  • The crowd shuffled across the cement floor and into a stark amphitheater lined with metal bleachers.
  • The site also features an indoor gallery and an amphitheater for special performances.
  • Whether that will be possible in the heat of the amphitheater kitchen remains to be seen.
  • The wall colors encircling the garden's amphitheater also were inspired by the site.
  • She is one of the more popular attractions within the expanse of the famous amphitheater she resides in.
  • Live performances are also held in the city's outdoor amphitheater.
  • The elements are erasing the ring along the sides of the gulch, but the one inside the amphitheater will take centuries to fade.
  • The amphitheater setting of the bay makes the display absolutely amazing.
  • Other graffiti list gladiators' records in the amphitheater.
  • Organic-produce markets and mini film festivals are all part of the program for this colossal amphitheater.
British Dictionary definitions for amphitheater


a building, usually circular or oval, in which tiers of seats rise from a central open arena, as in those of ancient Rome
a place where contests are held; arena
any level circular area of ground surrounded by higher ground
  1. the first tier of seats in the gallery of a theatre
  2. any similarly designated seating area in a theatre
a lecture room in which seats are tiered away from a central area
Derived Forms
amphitheatric (ˌæmfɪθɪˈætrɪk), amphitheatrical, adjective
amphitheatrically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for amphitheater

late 14c., from Latin amphitheatrum, from Greek amphitheatron "double theater, amphitheater," neuter of amphitheatros "with spectators all around," from amphi- "on both sides" (see amphi-) + theatron "theater" (see theater). Classical theaters were semi-circles, thus two together made an amphi-theater.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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