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[uh-ree-nuh] /əˈri nə/
the oval space in the center of a Roman amphitheater for gladiatorial combats or other performances.
a central stage, ring, area, or the like, used for sports or other forms of entertainment, surrounded by seats for spectators:
a boxing arena; a circus arena.
a building housing an arena.
a field of conflict, activity, or endeavor:
the arena of politics.
Origin of arena
1620-30; < Latin (h)arēna sand, sandy place, area sanded for combat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for arena
  • The three arenas are a cruise ship, an outdoor table, and a sports arena.
  • The rock, bigger than a sports arena, tumbles menacingly close to our planet every few years.
  • And surveys evaluating its use in football have found that it is more effective than arena signs and logos on uniforms.
  • Her persona in the skating arena was rough and tumble but she was not at all of that type.
  • Enter a closed arena teeming with zombies and take down as many enemies as possible before time expires.
  • The brotherhood needs the army to facilitate its dominance in the political arena and the imminent running of the country.
  • Again, by four years of age, children have become expert at working the social arena.
  • Right now cost is the only arena where the feds can enter the fray.
  • Surely reform in this arena is an appropriate part of the dialogue.
  • So any criticism of my posts outside of that arena have been unfounded so far.
British Dictionary definitions for arena


  1. an enclosure or platform, usually surrounded by seats on all sides, in which sports events, contests, entertainments, etc, take place: a boxing arena
  2. (as modifier): arena stage
the central area of an ancient Roman amphitheatre, in which gladiatorial contests and other spectacles were held
a sphere or scene of conflict or intense activity: the political arena
Word Origin
C17: from Latin harēna sand, place where sand was strewn for the combats
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 arena

1620s, "place of combat," from Latin harena "place of combat," originally "sand, sandy place," perhaps from Etruscan. The central stages of Roman amphitheaters were strewn with sand to soak up the blood.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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arena in Technology
The area of memory attached to a Unix process by the brk and sbrk system calls and used by malloc as dynamic storage. So named from a "malloc: corrupt arena" message emitted when some early versions detected an impossible value in the free block list.
See overrun screw, aliasing bug, memory leak, memory smash, smash the stack.
[Jargon File]
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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