If you're watching something, you're a spectator. Football stadiums and circus tents are full of spectators.

The spectator is a particular kind of viewer; unlike a witness or an onlooker, they usually have chosen intentionally to regard the spectacle before them. Usually the word spectator refers to people watching games or "spectator sports," but you could be a spectator at any planned event. An easy way to remember this word is to think of spectacles, glasses used to view something clearly — both from the same Latin root spectare.

Definitions of spectator
  1. noun
    a close observer; someone who looks at something (such as an exhibition of some kind)
    “the spectators applauded the performance”
    synonyms: looker, viewer, watcher, witness
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    a viewer who looks around casually without seeking anything in particular
    a nonparticipant spectator
    a spectator who shouts encouragement
    a spectator who can describe what happened
    a spectator who stares stupidly without intelligent awareness
    motion-picture fan, moviegoer
    someone who goes to see movies
    a viewer who gives a flirtatious or lewd look at another person
    looker-on, onlooker
    someone who looks on
    playgoer, theatergoer, theatregoer
    someone who attends the theater
    rubberneck, rubbernecker
    a person who stares inquisitively
    a secret watcher; someone who secretly watches other people
    a viewer who gazes fixedly (often with hostility)
    Peeping Tom, peeper, voyeur
    a viewer who enjoys seeing the sex acts or sex organs of others
    someone habitually a spectator at the openings of theatrical productions
    in Elizabethan theater: a playgoer in the cheap standing section
    snoop, snooper
    a spy who makes uninvited inquiries into the private affairs of others
    shadow, shadower, tail
    a spy employed to follow someone and report their movements
    type of:
    beholder, observer, perceiver, percipient
    a person who becomes aware (of things or events) through the senses
  2. noun
    a woman's pump with medium heel; usually in contrasting colors for toe and heel
    synonyms: spectator pump
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    type of:
    a low-cut shoe without fastenings
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