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amphitheater

[am-fuh-thee-uh-ter, -theeuh-ter] /ˈæm fəˌθi ə tər, -ˌθiə tər/
noun
1.
an oval or round building with tiers of seats around a central open area, as those used in ancient Rome for gladiatorial contests.
2.
any similar place for public contests, games, performances, exhibitions, etc.; an arena, stadium, or auditorium.
3.
a room having tiers of seats arranged around a central area, in which students and other observers can view surgery, hear lectures, etc.
4.
British.
  1. the first section of seats in the gallery of a theater.
  2. a designated section of seats in any part of a theater.
5.
a level area of oval or circular shape surrounded by rising ground.
Also, amphitheatre.
Origin
1540-1550
1540-50; < Latin amphitheātrum < Greek amphithéātron. See amphi-, theater
Related forms
amphitheatric
[am-fuh-thee-a-trik] /ˌæm fə θiˈæ trɪk/ (Show IPA),
amphitheatrical, adjective
amphitheatrically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for amphitheatre
  • The grotto is a natural amphitheatre with a sandy floor that accommodates camp and lawn chairs.
  • Locals crammed the hilltops surrounding the city's packed amphitheatre, to watch the dancing and the beauty pageant.
  • We came to a kind of shallow natural amphitheatre, and here the four of us halted.
  • He was then hurried by the soldiers into the amphitheatre.
  • Picture to yourself an immense amphitheatre, such as nature only could create.
British Dictionary definitions for amphitheatre

amphitheatre

/ˈæmfɪˌθɪətə/
noun
1.
a building, usually circular or oval, in which tiers of seats rise from a central open arena, as in those of ancient Rome
2.
a place where contests are held; arena
3.
any level circular area of ground surrounded by higher ground
4.
  1. the first tier of seats in the gallery of a theatre
  2. any similarly designated seating area in a theatre
5.
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 amphitheatre
n.

chiefly British English spelling of amphitheater. See -er.

amphitheater

n.

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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