spectator sport

(redirected from spectator)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

spectator sport

1. A sport that is watched by an audience, such as football or baseball. My favorite spectator sport is ice hockey, what's yours?
2. By extension, something other than sports that people watch without participating in. The Democratic and Republican National Conventions turn the presidential election into a spectator sport. Gym class is not a spectator sport! Stand up and start participating.
See also: sport
References in classic literature ?
In the first numbers of the Spectator these members are described to us.
Spectator, the chief member of the Club was Sir Roger de Coverley.
You may pick up a volume of the Spectator and read an essay here or there at will with enjoyment, or you may read the whole six hundred one after the other and find in them a slight but interesting story.
Even Defoe's stories had not yet appeared, and it was therefore a new delight for our forefathers to have the adventures of the Spectator Club each day with their morning cup of tea or chocolate.
A shout arose from the stands, for wherever may have been the favor of the spectators, none there was who could say that it had not been a pretty fight, or that the better man had not won.
It had been apparent to both players and spectators for the past two moves, that Gahan was moving straight across the field into the enemy's country to seek personal combat with the Orange Chief--that he was staking all upon his belief in the superiority of his own swordsmanship, since if the two Chiefs engage, the outcome decides the game.
The sympathies of the spectators were all with Gahan now.
The spectators had settled themselves for an interesting engagement of at least average duration when they were brought almost standing by a brilliant flash of rapid swordplay that was over ere one could catch his breath.
While these aged mourners were passing up the aisle, it was observed that, from pew to pew, the spectators shuddered with irrepressible awe, as some object, hitherto concealed by the intervening figures, came full in sight.
Among pennons and flags bearing wounded hearts, burning hearts, bleeding hearts, bows and quivers, and all the commonplace emblems of the triumphs of Cupid, a blazoned inscription informed the spectators, that this seat of honour was designed for La Royne de la Beault
Meanwhile, spectators of every description thronged forward to occupy their respective stations, and not without many quarrels concerning those which they were entitled to hold.
This, however, was a slight inconvenience to the gallant Abbot, who, perhaps, even rejoicing in the opportunity to display his accomplished horsemanship before so many spectators, especially of the fair sex, dispensed with the use of these supports to a timid rider.
If we had descended to the next order of spectators, we should have found an equal degree of abhorrence, though less of noise and scurrility; yet here the good women gave Black George to the devil, and many of them expected every minute that the cloven-footed gentleman would fetch his own.
Whatever gloss the various spectators put upon the interest, according to their several arts and powers of self-deceit, the interest was, at the root of it, Ogreish.
The spectators saw in the two figures, a young lady of little more than twenty, and a gentleman who was evidently her father; a man of a very remarkable appearance in respect of the absolute whiteness of his hair, and a certain indescribable intensity of face: not of an active kind, but pondering and self-communing.