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1. An oval or circular structure having tiers of seats rising gradually outward from a central open space or arena.
2. Geology A level area surrounded by upward sloping ground.
3. An upper, sloping gallery with seats for spectators, as in a theater or operating room.
[Middle English amphitheatre, from Latin amphitheātrum, from Greek amphitheātron : amphi-, amphi- + theātron, theater; see theater.]
am′phi·the·at′ric (-ăt′rĭk), am′phi·the·at′ri·cal adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.