Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.


English daily periodical published jointly by Joseph AddisonAddison, Joseph,
1672–1719, English essayist, poet, and statesman. He was educated at Charterhouse, where he was a classmate of Richard Steele, and at Oxford, where he became a distinguished classical scholar.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and Richard SteeleSteele, Sir Richard,
1672–1729, English essayist and playwright, b. Dublin. After studying at Charterhouse and Oxford, he entered the army in 1694 and rose to the rank of captain by 1700. His first book, a moral tract entitled The Christian Hero, appeared in 1701.
..... Click the link for more information.
 with occasional contributions from other writers. It succeeded the Tatler, a periodical begun by Steele on Apr. 12, 1709, under the pseudonym Isaac Bickerstaff. The Tatler appeared twice weekly until it ended Jan. 2, 1711. The Spectator began Mar. 1, 1711, appearing as a daily, and lasted until Dec. 6, 1712. Valuable as social history, the papers (dated from various London coffeehouses) provide an excellent commentary on the manners, morals, and literature of the day. The Spectator was supposedly written by members of a small club, representing figures of the British middle class: Sir Roger de Coverley (country gentry), Captain Sentry (military), Sir Andrew Freeport (commerce), Will Honeycomb (town), and Mr. Spectator himself. Addison joined Steele in writing the Tatler and continued his collaboration with him, writing about the same number of articles, in the Spectator. Both periodicals had a tremendous influence on public opinion and gave great impetus to the growth of journalism and periodical writing. The Spectator, which was succeeded by the Guardian, was revived for a time by Addison in 1714.


See edition of the Spectator by G. Smith (1945); studies by G. S. Streatfeild (1923) and R. P. Bond (1971).



a British weekly journal of conservative orientation. Published in London since 1828, Spectator deals with political, economic, and cultural issues. Circulation, more than 30,000 (1975).

References in classic literature ?
Thus the Spectator had then become part of everyday life just as our morning newspapers have now, and there must have been many regrets among the readers when one member of the supposed Club died, another married and settled down, and so on until at length the Club was entirely dispersed and the Spectator ceased to appear.
It was after the Spectator ceased that Addison published his tragedy called Cato.
Finding the abomination of his tribe opposed to his very nose, while the Jester, at the same time, flourished his wooden sword above his head, the Jew recoiled, missed his footing, and rolled down the steps, an excellent jest to the spectators, who set up a loud laughter, in which Prince John and his attendants heartily joined.
As the Jew, stunned by the request, afraid to refuse, and unwilling to comply, fumbled in the furred bag which hung by his girdle, and was perhaps endeavouring to ascertain how few coins might pass for a handful, the Prince stooped from his jennet and settled Isaac's doubts by snatching the pouch itself from his side; and flinging to Wamba a couple of the gold pieces which it contained, he pursued his career round the lists, leaving the Jew to the derision of those around him, and himself receiving as much applause from the spectators as if he had done some honest and honourable action.
Under 10s: Two charges of spectator misconduct, six of misconduct by linesman or club officials, three sendings off, two games abandoned.
Events manager Nigel Murphy said: "Shedding its elitist image, the sport is now played up and down the country with spectator numbers growing year on year.
Future studies that include sport specific motives (see Wann & Waddill, 2003) with additional gender-relevant variables (see Twenge, 1999) will result in a more complete framework for developing sport spectator profiles.
Their aim in this book is to disrupt our ideas of spectating and to challenge notions of either the passive or active spectator.
The two large waves knocked out barricades, a spectator platform and a large scaffold holding speakers broadcasting the surfing contest, that was held in a harbour town 25 miles south of San Francisco.
Reliance on signage to generate spectator recognition of sponsors is so commonplace that the concept of sponsorship is nearly synonymous with the use of signage in sport venues.
A SPECTATOR was killed yesterday at the Armoy road races in Co Antrim.
A spokeswoman for the event said: "At the beginning of the race, a spectator Rib got too close to the action and the catamaran struck the spectator boat.